India looks to level the series at Christchurch

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India vs New Zealand 2nd test 2020 match preview – India began its tour of New Zealand so well. They whitewashed New Zealand in the Five matches T20 International series and won their first-ever series in the shortest format on New Zealand soil. But they have not delivered the goods after that. The Men in Blue lost the One Day International series by a 0-3 margin and now they also lost the first test match at Wellington.

india vs new zealand 2nd test 2020

Now, India is in the situation of being whitewashed in the test matches also. After starting the tour of New Zealand so well, Virat and his men will not want to end the tour with a loss. The second and final test match of this two-match test series will begin on 29th February 2020 and will go on till 4 March 2020 at Christchurch.

It was more a batting failure that hurt India in the 1st Test at Wellington. The openers didn’t give a solid start to the innings and the middle pillars of India failed to contribute. Virat Kohli scored just 2 runs and 19 in the 1st test match while Pujara scored 11 runs in both the innings.

India vs New Zealand 2nd test 2020 match preview

Ajinkya Rahane batted well in the first innings but could not convert the starts in that match. Rahane scored a vital 46 runs which took India to 165 runs. But more contributions were needed from the openers, Shaw and Agarwal.

Shaw didn’t show the promise which he showed in the home test series against the weak West Indies team. Shaw scored a brilliant ton in that match and had a wonderful series. Shaw also did well in the domestic cricket season and his stint with India A was also good. Now, if Shaw gets another chance then he should use all the experience which he has gathered from the four-day games with India A against New Zealand A.

Mayank Agarwal was impressing but he wasn’t a match-winner in the first match. Agarwal is a potential match-winner and now is the perfect time to show that. India is already 0-1 down in the series, so now Agarwal should play an innings of his lifetime and allow India to draw the series at Christchurch.

India vs New Zealand 2nd test 2020 match preview – Agarwal shouldn’t waste his starts as he did in the first test match at Wellington. He scored a handy fifty in the second innings of the first test match. But it was a poor way by which he got out in that match. He had a golden chance to cross the three-figure mark and in the process, India would have been in a stronger position to win that test match.

Virat  Kohli and Cheteshwar  Pujara recently lost their respective rankings in test cricket. Virat lost his number one test ranking to Steve Smith while Pujara slipped down due to poor performance in the first test match of this two-match test series.

Now, in this crunch situation, India will need Pujara and Kohli. The loss in Wellington was also India’s first loss in the World test Championship. India has lost an opportunity to gain 60 points in the championship points table.

India vs New Zealand 2nd test 2020 match preview – That is why India needs its openers to play a full one session with the new ball. If they do that then the pitches in New Zealand get easier for batting and then the likes of Kohli, Pujara, and Rahane will pounce off every opportunity that the Kiwi bowlers present.

India missed an extra pace bowler in the first test and that’s why the selection of Hanuma Vihari was not justified because Vihari was selected as a part-time spinner but Kohli didn’t give him a single over to the bowl and as a batsman, Vihari couldn’t contribute well in the first test. So, Umesh Yadav should be a better option in place of Vihari.

Must Read: Top Five Batsmen in the History of the Indian Premier League

With Bumrah losing his grip and Shami not finding his Midas touch, India should include Umesh Yadav as a fourth pacer for the second test match. India can also drop Ashwin and pick Jadeja for the second and the last test match.

Jadeja’s all-round skill is the need of the hour for India and his improved batting skills will make India’s batting go deeper. Ashwin bowled well but his batting has raised many concerns. So selecting Jadeja in the playing XI will do India no harm.

India vs New Zealand 2nd test 2020 match preview – Ishant Sharma bowled well but he didn’t have that ideal support from his most reliable partners. Shami and Bumrah looked off coloured in the first test match. India hopes that they make a strong comeback in the series-deciding match.

Rishabh Pant was preferred over Saha but Pant didn’t use this opportunity. He was run out in the first innings and his batting failure was again disappointing to see. For the last test match, Saha should be considered. He is not just a reliable as a keeper but can also bat better than Pant.

India vs New Zealand 2nd test 2020 match preview – Probable XI of Team India –

India might make three changes in their squad for the last test match – Prithvi Shaw, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Wridhiman Saha, Ravindra Jadeja, Umesh Yadav, Mohd Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, and Ishant Sharma.

The hosts, New Zealand have no real issues. But they will want their top three to bat well in the last match. New Zealand has made a wonderful comeback after they were 0-5 down in the T20 International series.

The win of the One Day International series has certainly boosted their confidence. The 3-0 win came when the hosts were without their regular skipper, Kane Williamson and premiere fast bowler, Trent Boult.

India vs New Zealand 2nd test 2020 match preview – But Tim Southee and Debutant Kyle Jamieson played their role to perfection in the One Day International series and at the first test match at Wellington. Now with Boult back, New Zealand looks an awesome side at home.

They were far better in batting Williamson and Taylor as both of them set the tone in the batting department. Skipper Willamson scored gusty 80 runs while Taylor scored a handy 44 runs. Now in the series decider, the hosts will want these two most experienced Kiwi batsmen to score a big ton and they would also want New Zealand to continue their winning streak in the test matches.

Must Read: World XI Squad 2020: Faf Du Plessis is now also the Skipper for the World XI Team

New Zealand might include Neil Wagner for this second and the last test match. Wagner was in an awesome form in Australia and against India who is already 0-1 down, he will be more devastating. The home side might drop de Grandhomme for this extra pacer in the side. Or they can also drop Ajaz Patel who was the lone spinner in the first test match and New Zealand might go with all pace attacks for the second test match.

Some batting cameos are expected from the opening pair of Nicholls and Tom Latham. But Latham has batted well in the middle order in the limited-overs cricket. So in his place, Tom Blundell can do a fine job for the Kiwis.

New Zealand is the firm favorites’ to win this match and the series. They look a complete side when it is compared to India. New Zealand is also mindful that India might make a come back hard at them so they are well prepared for this last encounter of this series.

India vs New Zealand 2nd test 2020 Match Preview – Probable XI of Team New Zealand –

Henry Nicholls, Tom Blundell, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling, Ajaz Patel, Tim Southee, Kyle Jamieson, Trent Boult, and Neil Wagner.

Will New Zealand complete a whitewash in the Test series also? Or can India draw the series and end the tour on a high?

The answers will come to us from 29th February 2020 to 4th March 2020. Live telecast will be brought on by Star Sports Networks and Hotstar mobile applications at 4:00 PM IST.

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