Date & Time: Saturday, February 29, 04:00 IST
Venue: Hagley Oval, Christchurch, New Zealand
A void in the batting to be filled for India to draw the series
Another white-wash lies on the cards for India as they look to rectify their batting woes from the first Test. Mayank was the only batsman who got to a half century for India in that match and for most of it he was one of the most comfortable Indian batsmen. Its not gonna be easy at the Hagley Oval as well because of the similar conditions. The Indian pacers did their job pretty well in the first Test.
New Zealand look to wrap this series up and take their first series win in the WTC. Their bowlers knowledge of conditions, when it will swing and how to swing it, when to attack and when to bowl dry and exploitation of winds and angles is second to none. In the first Test Southee and Boult were able to swing the ball late and the height of Jamieson came into play.
New Zealand will be happy with the return of newly turned father Neil Wagner, but the selection of Jamieson would be a dilemma. Would they drop Patel and go for all pace attack or they will go with one spinner.
New Zealand Probable XI:
Tom Latham, Tom Blundell, Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling (wk), Colin de Grandhomme, Kyle Jamieson/Ajaz Patel, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Trent Boult.
Ishant SHarma wont be a part of the XI as he has suffered with an ankle injury. Umesh Yadav will be one of the direct replacements and there is an all likely hood Jadeja might replace Ashwin
India Probable XI:
Mayank Agarwal, Prithvi Shaw, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant, Hanuma Vihari, Ravichandran Ashwin/Ravindra Jadeja, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah.
Just like the Basin Reserve, Hagley Oval also is know for producing spicy pitch. An average of 255 runs is scored in the 1st innings at this venue since 2016 in Tests. Hagley Oval has clearly been a bowlers pitch, the balls/wkt ratio of 43.2 in the 1st innings is the best among all the venues in Tests since 2016. By the nature of the wicket and statistics, New Zealand might go in with an all-pace attack. The pacers have bagged 148 wickets whereas, spinners have just 16 wickets to their name in Tests since 2016.
Williamson missed out on a century in the first Test but his innings was nothing short of a masterclass. His nature of batting would be a suitable one at Hagley Oval, which makes him the priority choice in the fantasy team. His PPM of 78.4 and an MDTA of 1.67 in the last five International matches also suggests that
Mayank Agrwal was the most successful batsman for India in the fisrt Test. He has been the opener who has been getting starts but not able to converst big in overseas conditions. Still he is one of the must-have in the fantasy team.
Umesh Yadav will be a direct replacement for Ishant and his records speak so. He has the best balls/wkt for a bowler since 2019. In his last five international matches he has PPM of 107 and an MDTA of 1.25.
The senior most bowler of New Zealand has been leading from the front. In the first Test as well, his five wicket haul in the 1st innings set up the match beautifully for the black caps. Another aspect that makes him one of the hot picks is his record at the venue, which is exceptional.
Wagner will join the New Zealand squad after the delivery of his child. The perfect trio of New Zealand pace attack will look to torment the Indian side. In the alst five international matches Wagner has a PPM of 118.6 with an MDTA of 1.25.