The first Test of the two-match bilateral series between India and New Zealand will commence on November 25 at the Green Park International Stadium in Kanpur. The first ball will be played at 9:30 AM IST.
India will be heading into this fixture on the back of a clean sweep against the Kiwis in the three-match series of the shortest format. In the absence of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma from the first Test, Ajinkya Rahane will be leading the side. The middle-order batsman is currently going through a rough patch in his career. Rahane will be aiming to clinch the first match comprehensively and gain a lead of 1-0 in the bilateral series along with scoring some crucial runs.
The Blackcaps’ star player and the regular skipper, Kane Williamson returns to the team. Williamson opted out of the T20I series against India to rest and prepare for the highly anticipated Test series against India. The addition of Williamson will strengthen the team’s morale while playing against India as the hosts are also missing some big names from their squad. The two-match Test series are the last two games of the India tour for the Kiwis and would want to conclude on a positive note with a series win.
In the head-to-head competition between the two teams in the longest format, India has the upper hand as they beat New Zealand 21 times out of the 60 matches played. The Kiwis came out victorious on 13 occasions.
The last outing between the two teams in Test cricket took place earlier this year in the World Test Championship final. The Kiwis won the inaugural WTC final by eights wickets.
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