Fantasy Cricket: New Zealand vs India Test I Preview

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CRICKET - NZ vs IND TEST I

The T20Is were won 5-0 by India, while New Zealand returned the favour 3-0 in the ODIs. As such, the two teams start their two-match Test series on equal footing. The first of those matches will start at the Basin Reserve in Wellington from Friday.

Both teams will be targeting the ICC World Test Championship points. India are comfortably placed at the top with 360 points, while New Zealand are 6th with 60 points. Keep an eye on who bowls first, and make necessary changes to your fantasy team. That is vital, considering this venue favours the batsmen in the second innings.

New Zealand Preview

After missing their key players for most of the white-ball series, New Zealand will be back to full-strength for the first Test. Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor will continue to be their pillars of strength with the bat, while Tom Latham and BJ Watling should also feature high on your picks.

Neil Wagner is not entirely sure of playing this match owing to the birth of his child. Be cautious while picking him, but otherwise the likes of Trent Boult and Tim Southee give good options for your side.

India Preview

All eyes will be on India’s team selection, although captain Virat Kohli has given enough indications. Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal are all set to open, while Wriddhiman Saha is set to edge Rishabh Pant out of the reckoning.

Ravindra Jadeja is more likely to play as the lone spinner for India. The troika of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Ishant make India a formidable unit. Any combination of the Indian pacers is sure to reward you with points.

Fantasy Players to Watch

Ross Taylor is set to play his 100th Test and become the first player to play 100 matches in all three formats. His average of 60+ at this venue underlines his affinity to scoring here.

Colin de Grandhomme should relish the conditions here, especially the windy bowling conditions. His batting can be a real bonus and his presence a wild-card in your side.

Cheteshwar Pujara has been India’s bedrock in the top-order. With a tight technique and an ability to play long innings, Pujara will be key for the visitors.

Predicted XIs

New Zealand: 1 Tim Blundell 2 Tom Latham 3 Kane Williamson (C) 4 Ross Taylor 5 Henry Nicholls 6 BJ Watling (WK) 7 Colin de Grandhomme 8 Tim Southee 9 Kyle Jamieson 10 Trent Boult 11 Matt Henry

India: 1 Mayank Agarwal 2 Prithvi Shaw 3 Cheteshwar Pujara 4 Virat Kohli (C) 5 Ajinkya Rahane 6 Hanuma Vihari 7 Ravindra Jadeja 8 Wriddhiman Saha (WK) 9 Mohammed Shami 10 Ishant Sharma 11 Jasprit Bumrah

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