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Under-strength India still tough ask for visiting New Zealand

MUMBAI, Nov 23 (Reuters) – India’s fringe gamers could have an opportunity to impress within the absence of massive names when the hosts kick off their two-match collection in opposition to inaugural World Test Championship winners New Zealand at Kanpur on Thursday.

The collection would be the first within the longest format between the 2 sides since they met within the remaining of the WTC however the setting and the personnel at Green Park might be starkly totally different from that June contest in Southampton.

It may even be India’s first take a look at collection underneath head coach Rahul Dravid, a batting nice who performed 164 checks and 344 one-dayers between 1996 and 2012 and collected greater than 10,000 runs in each codecs.

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Dravid succeeded Ravi Shastri after the Twenty20 World Cup and has already tasted success in opposition to New Zealand throughout the three-match T20 collection, which his crew gained 3-0.

The hosts might be with out captain and batting mainstay Virat Kohli, who determined to skip the primary of the 2 checks, whereas batter Rohit Sharma, wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant and quick bowlers Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami will miss each matches.

Batter KL Rahul was additionally dominated out on Tuesday as a consequence of a left thigh muscle pressure and changed by Suryakumar Yadav.

The facet might be led by Ajinkya Rahane in Kanpur with Kohli returning on the helm for the second and remaining contest in Mumbai from Dec. 3.

New Zealand may even be lacking first-choice gamers in tempo spearhead Trent Boult and all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme and could have their process minimize out in opposition to the formidable Indian spinners in their very own yard.

The touring facet may even not discover a lot confidence from their previous report in India the place they’ve by no means gained a take a look at collection not to mention a take a look at match for the reason that 1988/89 tour.

“They’re one of the great challenges on the test calendar,” New Zealand head coach Gary Stead advised reporters on Tuesday.

“It’s something we haven’t done for a while, we haven’t been here since 2016 but we’re certainly looking forward to what’s ahead.”

While the Indian batting and quick bowling division would want reinforcements within the absence of key gamers, the hosts have their first-choice spinners in Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel out there.

In the absence of Pant, the skilled Wriddhiman Saha is predicted to don the wicketkeeping gloves.

“We have that (home) advantage, but we can’t take New Zealand lightly at all,” India vice-captain Cheteshwar Pujara mentioned.

“They’ve played excellent cricket and they’re a good side in all the formats. We’ll stick to our game plans, we’ll stick to what we know, how to play in Indian conditions.”

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Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly; Editing by Shrivathsa Sridhar

Former Indian cricket captain Rahul Dravid (R) speaks to Malaysian U-16 cricketers during a cricket clinic in Kuala Lumpur June 27, 2012. REUTERS/Bazuki Muhammad

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