The World Test Championship returns with the series between the Black Caps of New Zealand and India.
India come into the series at the top of the WTC standings and ICC rankings but have traditionally struggled in New Zealand.
Photo Copyright – Steve Haag Sports
First Test | Friday 21 February – Tuesday 25 February | Basin Reserve, Wellington | 00:30
New Zealand 16/10
The hosts will gratefully welcome back swing kingpin Trent Boult to their bowling attack. The left-arm quick has recovered from the broken hand he sustained in Australia in December.
Ross Taylor is in line to become just the fourth Black Cap to play 100 Test matches. Kane Williamson is fit again and will lead the side.
Tom Blundell looks set to continue opening the batting with Tom Latham after a maiden century in the third Test against Australia.
Kyle Jamieson could debut after a successful ODI series against India but only if New Zealand move away from their traditional team balance.
Without Hardik Pandya a tour to a country where seam bowling prevails will always be difficult for India but they can at least lean on an increasingly adept pace attack.
India can bat longer than most teams in world cricket right now but their ability against pace and the moving ball remains questionable.
Mayank Agarwak and Prithvi Shaw will front that challenge with Rohit Sharma out injured. Former Under-19 star Shubnam Gill may also be considered.
Wriddhiman Saha is back in the frame after injury ruined his 2019 but he will need to do something special to unseat Rishabh Pant as the wicketkeeper.
Verdict: India 12/10
The visitors will continue their domination of the WTC.
Written by James Richardson for Hollywoodbets