Opportunity – an opportunity to beat the world’s best, an opportunity to do something, no one has done before, an opportunity to climb up the ladder. When New Zealand will take on India in the second and final Test of the series in Christchurch, all the Kiwis will look for will be an opportunity.
However, for India, the defeat has been humiliating. The Men in Blue looked out of place at all the time during the first game. Since this was their first loss since the ICC World Test Championship began, India suffered from something that they had not witnessed before.
Before this tour, India had developed a habit of winning game after game after game.
Since the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, the Indian National Cricket Team had not looked back and they had been riding on seven consecutive limited-overs series win.
Apart from limited-overs dominance, India had been winning every game since the inception of the ICC World Test Championship and were on the top spot in the points table.
Coming to New Zealand too, India did what they have been doing. They outplayed the Kiwis in the T20 series whitewashing them 5-0.
Moreover, this was something that no team in world cricket had ever achieved and going into the ODIs, everyone thought it was gonna be a child’s play for the Men in Blue.
However, the Kiwis turned the tables and to the much surprise of cricket fans all across the globe, they avenged their defeat in style.
The BlackCaps whitewashed India 3-0 in the ODI series – to remind everyone of the potential they possess.
This tour has been historic in many ways for both the teams. Having lost the first Test, it will be a matter of pride for the Men in Blue as they take n the field for the very last time on a New Zealand pitch this year.
Both the teams expect a lot from their players to come out all guns blazing in Tests. India and New Zealand are expected to go with a full-strength squad for the second game.
Let’s Take A Look At New Zealand’s Predicted Playing XI for Christchurch Test:
Kane Williamson is back to full fitness after the shoulder injury that kept him away from the final two games of the T20 series and first two ODIs.
Williamson has been the backbone of the Kiwis batting line up. He has had a prolific Test career so far and has amassed a lot of runs for the Black Caps.
In the first game against India, he went on to show how good he is by scoring 89 runs in the Kiwi first innings. He was crucial in giving the Kiwis a crucial 183-run lead. He will be one of the key figures for the Black Caps in the second game too.
BJ Watling is expected to keep the wickets for the Kiwis. Having made his Test debut in 2009, Watling has had a fair share of experience in the format.
He is one of those very few Kiwi batsmen who have scored a double century in Tests. Having played a total of 69 Tests, Watling has scored 3,658 runs in the format with eight centuries to his name.
Watling is expected to play another match-defying knock vs the Men in Blue like he did earlier to help save the Kiwis from a defeat. He had an average game with the bat in the first Test as he could score only 14 runs in the sole innings that he got.
Tom Latham proved his might in the ODI series against India. He is one of the key players of the New Zealand team and is crucial for them to start their innings on a high.
Latham also has double-century to his name in Test cricket, and has been an experienced campaigner for the Kiwis in the format.
Having played a total of 51 Tests, Latham has scored more than 3500 runs with 11 centuries and 16 half-centuries to his name.
However, in the first game, he was dismissed cheaply for 11 runs in the first innings.
Tom Blundell is among one of the inexperienced lads in the New Zealand Test side. He has played a total of five Tests till date but his performance has been considerably good with the bat.
He has an average of 48.57 in Tests and has scored a couple of centuries in the format. His ton against Australia is considered to be one of the greatest Test knocks from a Kiwi batsman under pressure.
Blundell will now look to make a huge impact in the upcoming series and cement his place in the Test squad. Blundell had a solid start with the bat in the first innings of the first Test but couldn’t convert it big as he managed to score 30 runs with the bat.
The most experienced campaigner of the entire New Zealand squad, Ross Taylor will be one of the greatest assets of the team.
Taylor is one of the most successful Test batsmen in world cricket. Also, he has regained his form and was the Man of the Series in the recently-held ODI series.
Taylor will surely look to make a huge impact on the game in the second Test. He played a handy knock of 44 runs with the bat in the first Kiwi innings and will like to go beyond it in the second game.
A promising left-handed batsman, Henry Nicholls has been talked about highly among New Zealand’s cricketing circles over the few years.
Nicholls looked in great touch in the ODI series and will look to take his form to the next level in the upcoming Test series.
Although he has had a short Test career, his performance has been impressive as the left-handed batsman has an average of above 40 in Test cricket. In the first game, Nicholls could manage only 17 runs with the bat.
Colin de Grandhomme:
Having the tag of an explosive all-rounder, Colin de Grandhomme is one of the most crucial players for New Zealand.
Although his playing style suits the limited-overs format, he can be a key bowler for the Kiwis in the windy conditions.
De Grandhomme has had a fifer in his career so far and has the potential to destroy any batting line up in the world. He proved crucial with the bat lower down the innings in the first Test for New Zealand as he went on to score 43 runs which made the difference between both the teams.
Kyle Jamieson had a debut to remember for ages when he took to the field for the first time in Test cricket against India at Wellington.
He rattled through the Indian batting line up in their first innings and displayed his true potential clinching four wickets. He picked the crucial wicket of Indian captain Virat Kohli and looked in great touch.
Another amusing side of his cricketing brilliance came upfront when he batted solidly in the first innings scoring 44 runs with the bat. Jamieson has been a solid find for New Zealand in recent times and the future looks bright for the tall young lad.
One of the greatest fast bowlers of New Zealand in world cricket, Tim Southee can prove to be a deadly pacer at Wellington.
He is another experienced campaigner in the Kiwi side and has a collection of a large number of wickets to his name.
He was adjudged the Man of the Match award in the first game for his incredible bowling. He picked four wickets in the first innings and bamboozled the Indian batsmen with his pace and swing.
In the second innings, he improvized his figures as he went on to add another fifer to his tally as India were bundled for 191 runs.
Neil Wagner will replace Ajaz Patel in the second Test. Considering the green lush pitch at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch, Neil Wagner will be a crucial addition to the team.
Wagner is one of the most experienced campaigners in the New Zealand team. He has clinched over 200 wickets in Test cricket for the Kiwis.
However, what adds value to this side is his batting ability. Wagner comes down handy as a lower-order batsman and can score some quick-fire runs for the Kiwis.
He has clinched 9 fifers for the BlackCaps in the format and his best bowling figures are- 7/39 in an innings and 9/73 in a game.
Trent Boult will probably be New Zealand’s most crucial player in the second Test match. Having the ability to swing the ball both ways and at a very high speed makes him one of the world’s deadliest bowler.
He can easily destroy the relatively inexperienced Indian batting line up and can win the game single-handedly for his team.
It will surely be one of the greatest games in the history of Test cricket when two great cricketing nations collide on the green Hagley Oval at Christchurch.