Home > News >

India vs New Zealand 2014 1st Test Preview: Visitors eye elusive away victory

India would hope their young batsmen fire during the Test series against New Zealand © Getty Images
India would hope their young batsmen fire during the Test series against New Zealand © Getty Images

By AbhijitBanare

 

Feb 5, 2014

Following a 0-4 defeat in the One-Day Internationals (ODIs), India take on New Zealand in the first Test at Eden Park, Auckland. In many ways, India’s fortunes are quite similar to their tour to South Africa in December 2013. They were thrashed in the ODIs 2-0, before making a good recovery in Tests, only to lose it due to a few bad sessions in Durban. This time, they look to begin another away Test series with the home of securing a victory.

After the defeat in ODIs, the question is: whether the Indians can beat the Kiwis? This would have been a baseless argument before the series, but New Zealand looks in supreme confidence to allow any room for the Indians. In the first Test at Auckland, swing is going to be a major factor for both the Indian batsmen and the bowlers. The batsmen need to negate the formidable Kiwi pace attack led by Tim Southee, Trent Boult and Neil Wagner in their ranks. Meanwhile the Indian pacers, with spearhead Zaheer Khan at the forefront, will be eager to exploit the conditions.

Under overcast conditions, it’s likely to be a ‘win the toss bowl first’ situation for both captains and with such windy weather, the pacers would be critical for both teams.

As far as the team selections are concerned, Indians are most likely to go with a similar line-up to the one that played the last Test against South Africa. Shikhar Dhawan will once again get an opportunity to prove himself along with Murali Vijay at the top. The certainties and the backbone of Indian batting: Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane look set in the middle.

India may only find problems in picking the pace attack. With Zaheer and Mohammed Shami certain to play, it would be interesting to see if Dhoni, opts for Ishwar Pandey — who had an impressive start in the warm-up match. There’s a case for Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s inclusion as well under the windy conditions and the swing on offer. By cricketing logic, Ishant Sharma shouldn’t play the first Test, but one never knows.

For New Zealand, things look good with a well set pace attack and a stable top-order with veteran Peter Fulton and an equally reliable 26-year-old Hamish Rutherford opening the batting. India’s first stumbling block could be the No 3 for New Zealand i.e. Kane Williamson followed by Ross Taylor. Skipper Brendon McCullum, Corey Anderson and wicketkeeper batsman BJ Watling will follow Taylor. With the pace bowling of Anderson, New Zealand have four fast bowling options with Southee, Wagner and Boult — which allows them to include the leg-spinner Ish Sodhi. Considering India’s susceptibility against pace, McCullum might even consider including a full-pace attack with Doug Bracewell in the XI.

There’s a forecast of rain in Auckland and as mentioned earlier, the overcast conditions could make a huge difference. Moreover, the drop-in pitches could have uneven bounce initially — assisting the pacers. After the initial two days, the conditions might ease up for batting. Not to forget that coach Mike Hesson is still eager to test the Indians with short balls.

India have a challenge ahead of them and it would be interesting to see how they live up to it. The last time around, in 2009, they defeated a weaker Kiwi team 1-0 in tests but this time, it’s not a walkover. June 2011 was the last time the Indians won an away Test match. It’s time Dhoni and his team sets the record straight away before it becomes a psychological scar.

Teams (from):

New Zealand: Brendon McCullum (c), Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Peter Fulton, Hamish Rutherford, Jesse Ryder, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling (wk), Kane Williamson

India: MS Dhoni (c & wk), Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Ambati Rayudu, Ravindra Jadeja, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravichandran Ashwin, Zaheer Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Ishwar Pandey, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav.

Time: 22:00 GMT | 03:30 IST

(Abhijit Banare is a reporter at CricketCountry. He is an avid quizzer and loves to analyse and dig out interesting facts which allows him to learn something new every day. Apart from cricket he also likes to keep a sharp eye on Indian politics, and can be followed on Twitter and blog)

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 30, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 2, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Cuttack

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 3, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Khulna

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 5, 2014 (14:05 IST)   at Adelaide

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 6, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Ahmedabad

More

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 15, 2014  at Ahmedabad

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 7, 2014  at Bengaluru

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 30, 2014  at Hyderabad

Match cancelled

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 27, 2014  at Hamilton

No result

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014  at Dhaka

Bangladesh won by 3 wkts

Photos

Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test

Videos

Tendulkar provides teaser on upcoming book

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Younis Khan’s double ton puts Pakistan on top against Australia at stumps on Day 2 of 2nd Test

Duleep Trophy 2014-15 final: Central Zone 214/4 at stumps; lead by 111 runs

Yuvraj Singh — have we seen the last of the man who won India three World Cups?

Younis Khan continues piling up records for Pakistan

KL Rahul could be opening option for India’s tour to Australia

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 Central Zone Duleep Trophy Duleep Trophy 2014-15 India Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Zone South Zone vs Central Zone Sri Lanka Sri Lanka tour of India 2014

Younis Khan: I want to be remembered as team-man

ICC World Cup 2015: New Zealand prime minister urges Indian fans to attend the tournament

Mohammad Yousuf: Muttiah Muralitharan would not have been allowed to bowl under current ICC rules

Mohammad Azharuddin’s son included in UP One-Day squad for Vijay Hazare Trophy

Sri Lanka women’s senior player accuses selector of asking for sexual favours

Rohit Sharma looks to strengthen career after an inconsistent year

Younis Khan equals Javed Miandad’s record of most 150+ scores by Pakistan batsman

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: Manish Pandey showing signs of fulfilling potential

Yuvraj Singh — have we seen the last of the man who won India three World Cups?

Younis Khan continues piling up records for Pakistan

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

678 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Younis Khan century during Pakistan vs Australia 1st Test at Dubai

India A vs Sri Lanka: Fringe players look to impress

NGOs pursue education for all

Dance Basanti from Ungli: Put on your dancing shoes and practice the Basanti move!

Weight Loss Tip #59: Eat oranges to lose weight

Sensex surges 150 points in early trade to regain 27,000-mark

PricewaterhouseCoopers partners Google to offer business solutions to clients

Google X Lab working on nanoparticles to help detect diseases early

Priyanka Chopra has the best no make-up selfie on Instagram, think fans!

Lisa Haydon: I slept off midway while watching the original Shaukeen!

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here