Virat Kohli-led India will look to win their fourth Test series under his captaincy © AFP
Virat Kohli-led India will look to win their fourth Test series under his captaincy © AFP

India have announced their squad for the three-Test series against New Zealand, with the first Test beginning from September 22 at Green Park, Kanpur. The second Test of the series will be played at the iconic Eden Gardens in Kolkata from September 30 to October 4, whereas the third and final Test will be at the Holkar Stadium in Indore. The Holkar Stadium will thus be the newest Test cricket venue, whereas a few more stadiums will be making their debuts in time to come. As far as the squad is concerned, the Indian selectors opted to retain more or less the same side, excluding Stuart Binny , Shardul Thakur and Shikhar Dhawan who were a part of the touring party against West Indies. The other senior Indian players, Gautam Gambhir and Yuvraj Singh, were ignored. Full Cricket Scorecard: India vs New Zealand 1st Test at Kanpur

There were rounds of Gambhir making an entry in the squad after his excellent form in Duleep Trophy 2016 final. He has scored 320 runs at an average of 86 in this tournament so far. There were few teenagers from Gambhir’s fan club on Sunday who were looking forward of his comeback and were going around with chants of ‘Bring back Gautam’. Even Shardul Thakur has been excluded from the squad. Thakur, who was excited for the West Indies tour, did not play a single game in the tour apart from the practice matches. Soon after, he was sent for two unofficial Test series in Australia and is presently playing for India A.

Dhawan is also yet another notable inclusion, despite his poor run in the West Indies tour, barring his innings of 84 runs in the first Test. His graph came down since then and his inconsistency had already put his spot in a fix. However, this will be the moment for him to recollect his form and will be under the radar as India have several Test series to be played in India in the upcoming time.

India under Virat Kohli’s leadership have won the last three Test series. They beat Sri Lanka in their own den and followed it up with wins against South Africa at home and the West Indies at the Caribbean. India will look to continue their dominance at home against a New Zealand side, who are coming at the back of a series loss against South Africa. However, they completed a 2-0 whitewash against Zimbabwe, prior to the series against South Africa.

New Zealand had announced their squad for the Test series on September 6. Kane Williamson will lead New Zealand in a Test series for the first time in India.  They have three spinners in their squad – Ish Sodhi, Mark Craig and all-rounder Mitchell Santner. New Zealand may play all three spinners, if the pitches at the venues are dry. READ: NZ name Test squad for tour to IND

The form of Martin Guptill in the longest format is a big worry. He did not have a good outing against South Africa recently. His last four innings read 0, 8, 7 and 11, which is certainly not good enough at this level. Guptill had recently acknowledged that his Test cricket is not that great and he would like to improve it during the India series. New Zealand will play defending Ranji Trophy Champions Mumbai from September 16 in a three-day warm-up match ahead of the Test series. READ: Rahane wants to focus only on NZ series for now

India and New Zealand play a three-Test series. The first one will be played at Green Park, Kanpur on September 22. The second Test will be played at the iconic Eden Gardens from September 30. The Holkar Stadium in Indore will make its Test debut as the third and final Test of the series is scheduled to be played at this stadium. READ: Rohit Sharma: Team India moving ahead in right direction

After the Test series, India and New Zealand face each other in a five-match One-Day International (ODI) series from October 16, with the first match of the series scheduled to be played at HPCA, Dharamsala. New Zealand have already suffered a setback as left-arm pacer Mitchell McClenaghan has already been ruled out of the ODI series. Adam Milne is doubtful for the series and the New Zealand management will monitor the progress of all-rounder Corey Anderson, who has a back injury. READ: Zaheer: IND vs NZ Test series will be an even battle

“We will monitor Corey, like we’ll watch everyone, and assess where he is at after those games. It is the bowling obviously we are very keen to see Corey keep progressing in, to be getting back to being selectable as a genuine all-rounder. We are trying to get that on track as quick as possible,” National selector Gavin Larsen said.

India squad for three Tests against New Zealand: Virat Kohli (c), KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vc), Murali Vijay, Rohit Sharma, Ravichandran Ashwin, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shikhar Dhawan, Amit Mishra, Umesh Yadav.