Team India In the first test match played at Green Park, Kanpur, stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane won the toss and elected to bat. Interestingly, this is the fourth time in a row that an Indian captain has beaten the Kiwis with a toss in this series. Flamboyant Shreyas Iyer got his maiden Test cap from legendary Sunil Gavaskar as he was replaced in the absence of the regular captain Virat Kohli Those who have been rested from the first Test.
Whereas, for New Zealand, Kane Williamson returned to lead his side after a brief break in the T20I series, where India won 3-0 under Rohit Sharma.
This is Rahul Dravid’s first red-ball assignment as India’s head coach and he will guide the second-line Indian team to victory in the absence of some senior players.
Rahane after winning the toss said that the young team is excited to play under the new coaching staff under Dravid’s leadership.
“Looking to bat first. The pitch is looking really good. Usually slows down here afterwards. This is an opportunity for all of us to do well here and in Mumbai. Some senior people are missing. So this is an opportunity for the youth. Shreyas is making his debut. We are all excited to play under the new coaching staff. I personally enjoy playing under Rahul bhai. New Zealand is a quality side. 3 spinners, 2 seamers (on the bowling combination),” Rahane said at the toss.
India picked Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav as their bowling options.
Meanwhile, New Zealand also decided to keep three spin options in the XI with Ejaz Patel, Will Somerville and Rachin Ravindra.
“We would have batted earlier as well. But we took the ball first, so it is important that we get some early wickets. Looking forward to this challenge. It’s mixed (elbow injury), but that’s okay. Ajaz Patel and Will Somerville have done well in the past. We are going in with two spinners, two fast bowlers and one spinning all-rounder debutant in Rachin Ravindra,” Williamson said.
New Zealand (Playing XI): Tom Latham, Will Young, Kane Williamson(c), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, Tom Blundell(w), Rachin Ravindra, Tim Southee, Ajaz Patel, Kyle Jamieson, William Somerville
India (Playing XI): Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (c), Shreyas Iyer, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav