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PREVIEW: Williamson returns as Black Caps, India ready for 1st Test

India will be led by Ajinkya Rahane with Virat Kohli rested until the second Test against Kane Williamson’s New Zealand.

Kane Williamson - World Test Championship
Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports

India will be led by Ajinkya Rahane with Virat Kohli rested until the second Test against Kane Williamson's New Zealand.

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

India will be led by Ajinkya Rahane with Virat Kohli rested until the second Test against the World Champions New Zealand.

The hosts will want to prove their superiority at home against an opponent who beat them earlier this year for the World Test Championship.

India vs New Zealand | 25 November – 29 November | Green Park, Kanpur | 06:00

To Win Match

India 11/20 | Draw 15/4 | New Zealand 15/4

India

A group made up of Test specialists and young prospects will face New Zealand but the top six is expected to be loaded with experience.

Mayank Agarwal is favoured to open the batting with KL Rahul while Cheteshwar Pujara will slot in at three and the skipper at four.

Uncapped wicketkeeper Srikar Bharat will battle Wriddhiman Saha for the gloves while India could also deploy three spinners.

Axar Patel has made a big case for inclusion alongside all-rounders Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin.

Mohammad Siraj should retain his place in the XI and could take the new ball alongside Ishant Sharma.

New Zealand

Kane Williamson returns to lead New Zealand and they will take some lifting, although the group has enjoyed a considerable refresh for the change of format.

Neil Wagner and Kyle Jamieson will be the brave quicks who could be shouldering a considerable workload in the first Test.

Ajaz Patel will be New Zealand’s choice to provide a source of wickets on a turning track, with the leg-spinner to be supported by Mitchell Santner and perhaps Will Somerville.

The experience of Ross Taylor will be hugely valuable to New Zealand but his form is a subject of some uncertainty.

Verdict: India 11/20

India are always a tough nut to crack at home in the longest format.

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