Cheteshwar Pujara
Cheteshwar Pujara (Photo: BCCI)

Indian batsman Cheteshwar Pujara pointed out that the youngsters in the side will get a good opportunity to express themselves on the big stage in the absence of senior players Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma.

The experienced duo has been rested for the first Test against New Zealand that will begin today. Kohli will be back for the second Test and will take over the captaincy from stand-in captain, Ajinkya Rahane.

It (preparation) has been good. I was part of the IPL, didn’t play but was training and preparing whenever I got time. So, the prep has been good. We also had a good practice session in Mumbai. It’s good to be back playing at home because we haven’t played in India for a while now.”

Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli
Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli. Image-Twitter

Their (Virat, Rohit) absence does give the others a chance to prove themselves. It (responsibility) is there obviously but I don’t think I should think too much about it. This track was a bit slow the last time we played here but did spin later,” Pujara said ahead of the toss in the first match.

India named one debutant in their playing XI for the first Test, with Shreyas Iyer set to take the field on Thursday. It is a relatively inexperienced batting side with Shubman Gill and Mayank Agarwal set to open the innings for India.

Shubman Gill
Shubman Gill (Image Credit: Twitter)

India’s playing XI for first Test against New Zealand:

Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (c), Shreyas Iyer, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav.

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