Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here

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)

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 25, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Dubai

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 25, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Dubai

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 26, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 26, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 27, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Sharjah

More

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 24, 2014  at Sharjah

Kolkata Knight Riders won by 2 runs

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 23, 2014  at Dubai

Chennai Super Kings won by 7 runs

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 22, 2014  at Sharjah

Kings XI Punjab won by 72 runs

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 21, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Chennai Super Kings won by 93 runs

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 20, 2014  at Sharjah

Kings XI Punjab won by 7 wkts

Photos

CSK vs DD, IPL 2014 Match 8 at Abu Dhabi

Videos

IPL: Tanmay Mishra talks shows the contents of his kit

Sachin Tendulkar — One of the hardest terms to optimise for any SEO professional

Sachin Tendulkar changed the fortunes of cricket journalists in India

Sachin Tendulkar — the greatest batsman of India

Sachin Tendulkar: A timeless fairytale

Sachin Tendulkar: The child, the father, but sexy? Not quite

Chennai Super Kings Delhi Daredevils Glenn Maxwell India IPL IPL 7 IPL 2014 Kings XI Punjab Kolkata Knight Riders MS Dhoni Rajasthan Royals RCB vs KKR RCB vs KKR 2014 Royal Challengers Bangalore Sunrisers Hyderabad

Moin Khan hints at change of captain for Pakistan’s ODI side

Chris Lynn helps Kolkata Knight Riders escape with stunning 2-run win over Royal Challengers Bangalore in Match 11 of IPL 2014

PCB change Muhammad Akram’s role from bowling coach to national selector

RCB need 18 off the last 2 overs against KKR

RCB lose Virat Kohli bust stay in control against KKR

Sachin Tendulkar given out off a wrong replay on his birthday in IPL 2011

Happy birthday! A bouquet of CricketCountry’s best Sachin Tendulkar features

Sachin Tendulkar – The century of centuries in tweets

Sachin Tendulkar — One of the hardest terms to optimise for any SEO professional

Sachin Tendulkar changed the fortunes of cricket journalists in India

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

622 Posts | 7 Fans

Video Highlights: Virat Kohli's 77 during India vs Sri Lanka ICC World T20 2014 final at Dhaka

Vic Gundotra, Google+ head leaves company

7 health benefits of eucalyptus oil

Are Himesh Reshammiya and Yo Yo Honey Singh overconfident about The Xpose?

IPL 2014: Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) vs Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), Match 11 at Sharjah

Are electronic cigarettes actually safe for you?

Xbox users are spending 5 hours a day on the console!

Moin Khan hints at change of captain for Pakistan’s ODI side

Entertainment Ke Liye Kuch Bhi Karega promo: Anu Malik-Farah Khan return to small screen with their signature shayaris!

Also on cricketcountry.com