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World Test Championship

Showdown in Mumbai awaits with series in the balance

IND v NZ, second Test, preview

Both India and New Zealand will head into the second and final Test of the series in Mumbai fancying their chances after a nail-biting draw in the first Test in Kanpur.


India vs New Zealand, second Test
Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
December 3-7, 9:30 am local 

After narrowly missing out on a victory in Kanpur, the Indian team will welcome back their talismanic skipper Virat Kohli for the second Test. His return will also bring about some selection dilemmas after the excellent performance of Shreyas Iyer in his debut Test. With Iyer's showing likely having cemented his place in the middle-order, one of the stalwarts of the Indian batting lineup for the past few years, Ajinkya Rahane or Cheteshwar Pujara are likely to miss out owing to their overall performances over the last couple of years. Ishant Sharma could also miss out after being ineffective in the Kanpur Test and may be replaced by Mohammed Siraj on a Wankhede pitch which will likely offer some assistance for the seamers.

New Zealand again showcased all their character and grit which has made them such a formidable side across all the formats. They will be largely happy with their showing in Kanpur and won't make many changes for the encounter in Mumbai. One change likely though is the inclusion of pacer Neil Wagner in place of spinner Will Somerville who was toothless with the ball in Kanpur. The pitch at the Wankhede Stadium will be much more conducive to pace bowling and Wagner will make for an excellent inclusion. 

Remember the last time 

India batted first and posted a score of 345 on the board courtesy of an excellent century by Shreyas Iyer and vital contributions from Shubman Gill, Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin. 

Axar Patel's fifth five-for then ensured that the visitors were bowled out for 296 to ensure that the hosts had a crucial first-innings lead heading into the second innings. 

India were in a spot of bother losing half their side with the lead of only around 100. But Iyer and Ashwin steadied the ship with crucial knocks before Saha and Patel further piled on the runs as India set New Zealand a target of 284 runs heading into the final day. 

For the large part, it seemed as the match was headed for a draw but Jadeja and Ashwin ensured that we had a nail-biting last hour on our hands. Ajaz Patel and Rachin Ravindra though showed great determination, batting our 52 deliveries before fading lights finally brought an end to proceedings and New Zealand clinched a deserved draw with one wicket remaining.  

What they said

Paras Mhambrey (India bowling coach): "We will have a look at the wicket, then we will see what combination is right: three spinners and two seamers or two spinners and three seamers. Depending on that we will decide the playing XI. But everybody in the group believes whoever is part of the team is good enough to represent the country."

Kane Williamson (New Zealand captain): "For us, having that experience, going out, batsmen spending time in the middle and bowlers getting overs under their belt after a fairly disjointed preparation was really valuable. For us, it is really important that we make adjustments quickly again. We go to a new venue, and it will be different."

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