- Venue: Hagley Oval, Christchurch
- Date: 29th February 2020
- Time: 4:00 AM IST
- League: India tour of New Zealand
New Zealand Preview
The hosts will be looking to seal the series with a win in the 2nd and final Test match at Hagley Oval. While they carry the momentum and confidence from the 1st Test, they’re yet to use Neil Wagner’s bowling services. Wagner has been successful with his short-ball at home soil. In addition, Tim Southee also looked in tremendous form with 9 wickets in the 1st Test.
This bowling form will be the key for New Zealand to gain an edge over the visitors. In the batting department, skipper Kane Williamson has a big responsibility at number 3 while Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, and BJ Watling need to hold the innings together in at 4, 5, and 6. Moreover, Blackcaps had some good batting performances lower down the order with Kyle Jamieson and Trent Boult scoring 44 and 38 respectively.
The lower-order coming in to rescue and add crucial runs will also add more confidence in the side. However, Tom Blundell and Tom Latham can’t take things too easy at the top. India’s pacer Jasprit Bumrah needs a good start to get his form back. As a result, if the openers let him get the better of themselves, he would go on to trouble Williamson and Taylor as well.
India has suffered another blow with their most experienced pacer suffering an ankle injury. Ishan Sharma is likely to miss out on the 2nd Test match at Christchurch. As a result, Umesh Yadav will replace him in the playing XI. While Jasprit Bumrah has struggled on this tour to be at this best, this news about Ishant Sharma could have a negative impact on the team morale.
While the whole team was rally behind Jasprit Bumrah in the nets encouraging every delivery, Sharma’s exclusion from the side will add extra pressure on Bumrah-Shami duo. Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara will need to play a big innings if India is to gain advantage in the 2nd Test. Ajinkya Rahane and Hanuma Vihari hold the key for India in the middle-order.
Indian batting line-up needs to bounce back from the failure in the 1st Test as soon as possible. While Umesh Yadav had a great season at home soil, his overseas figures aren’t impressive. He averages 42.19 in 17 Tests on foreign soil with 46 wickets. If R Ashwin makes it to the playing XI, he will have the responsibility to pick wickets in absence of India’s most successful bowler in the 1st Test.
New Zealand to win the match
Blackcaps have a clear edge over the visitors given the bowling form in contrast to India’s failed batting order. In addition, Kohli’s men will also be missing Ishant Sharma, which will only add to the wounds of 1st Test. Jasprit Bumrah looked in good touch in the nets and Kohli will expect him to deliver his best with the ball.
However, the visitors will be under pressure and NZ with great bowling options look strong and in the right shape to overpower Indian side.
Fantasy Team Tips
- Rishabh Pant will be important for India if the top-order crumbles to an in-form NZ bowling attack. It takes 9 credits to include BJ Watling in the fantasy team which is slightly more than the actual value.
- While in the batting department, Williamson and Taylor will be the lead contenders to be top batsman for NZ. And, Tim Southee and Kyle Jamieson will likely lead the bowling attack.
- For the visitors, Kohli and Mayank Agarwal have the responsibility to give India a great start at the top.
- While many fantasy teams (81%) have selected Ishant Sharma, the recent news of his injury will make not make him an ideal choice for the bowling attack.
- Jasprit Bumrah, on the other hand, is keen on getting back to his best and will be an essential bowler in the fantasy team.
Fantasy Team Prediction
- Wicket-Keeper – Rishabh Pant
- Batsmen – V Kohli, M Agarwal, K Williamson, R Taylor
- All-rounders – R Ashwin, Colin de Grandhomme
- Bowlers – J Bumrah, T Boult, Tim Southee, K Jamieson
- Captain – V Kohli
- Vice-Captain – K Williamson