India are all set to take on New Zealand in the first Test at Basin Reserve, Wellington. India go into the series after whitewashing the Kiwis in the T20Is while getting whitewashed in the ODI series.
Given the track record of New Zealand in Tests at home, they should start as favourites, but India are the number one Test side in the world and are yet to drop a match in the ICC Test Championships.
India have 360 points from three series wins where they have played seven matches in total and won all of them. On the other hand New Zealand were routed in Australia, but with the likes of Neil Wagner and Trent Boult in their side, they will be rearing to make use of their home conditions well against a well-established Indian batting order.
India have a very balanced side, with skipper Virat Kohli leading from the front. It will be interesting to see his deputy Ajinkya Rahane go about his business with the bat. Rohit Sharma, who has taken the role of the opener in Tests had good run ever since, will be missing the action due to a calf injury he suffered in the T20Is against the Kiwis.
India’s bowling attack is currently considered to be the best in the world with proven match winners in the likes of Mohammad Shami and Jasprit Bumrah.
New Zealand Kane Williamson will have a go at the Indian attack but Ross Taylor’s form will be key to New Zealand’s success.
Williamson’s record is marvellous at the ground having scored 1,048 runs at 65.50, with a highest of 242 not out at the Basin Reserve.
New Zealand have 60 points in the Test championship tables with just one win from five matches.
It will be interesting to see if the hosts can break India’s winning form.