- Match: New Zealand vs India, 1st Test, India tour of New Zealand, 2020
- Date: Friday, February 21, 2020 – Tuesday, February 25, 2020
- Time: 10:30 PM GMT
- Venue: Basin Reserve, Wellington
Team India’s tour to New Zealand has entered its final phase as they get ready to play the home side for the all-important 2-match Test series beginning from February 21 at Wellington. India, who are the No.1 team at present in the ICC World Test Championship, will certainly find it tough to take on the Kiwis at home. They have a superb bowling line up but New Zealand are too strong at home.
New Zealand Match Form
New Zealand have a strong squad with some solid match-winners. Captain Kane Williamson will obviously be the main batsman for the Kiwis throughout the series and will be holding together the middle-order with his solid presence. Tom Latham, Tom Blundell, BJ Watling and Ross Taylor are the other batsmen to watch out for.
The team’s bowling will largely be led by Neil Wagner who has been sensational in recent times. The return of Trent Boult is a massive boost as well and these two fast bowlers will pose a real challenge to Indian batsmen. Young seamer Kyle Jamieson, who was terrific against India in the ODIs, could make his debut in this Test and can make a good impact on this wicket.
India Match Form
On paper, India has a very good Test team. Mayank Agarwal was outstanding as a Test opener in 2019 for India and he is likely to be partnered with young Prithvi Shaw in the absence of Rohit Sharma. Skipper Virat Kohli, along with Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane will be manning the middle-order. However, the surprise package could be Hanuma Vihari.
India’s bowling strength is tremendous despite lead bowler Ishant Sharma being uncertain for the series due to injury. In Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami, they have three extremely skillful seam bowlers. The experience of off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin will be handy. India might play young pacer Navdeep Saini who will be a handful on this surface with his pace and bounce.
New Zealand vs India, 1st Test Cricket Betting Tips
The last time India played New Zealand in an away Test series was on the 2013/14 tour where they ended up losing 0-1. However, things have changed since then. This is a much stronger Indian Test side at the top of its game. Furthermore, New Zealand haven’t been in the best of Test forms of late – they drew against England at home and were walloped 0-3 in Australia.
That being said, the Kiwis will certainly have the home advantage. Indian batsmen struggle on pitches with seam and swing and the surface at Basin Reserve in Wellington should certainly aid seam bowlers. If there is a generous covering of grass then the Indian batsmen will find the going tough. The average first innings score on this venue is 307 and if the team batting first gets close to 400 then they will have the advantage as batting last at Basin Reserve is a real challenge.
This Test will be decided by India’s bowling and New Zealand’s all-round abilities at home. India have the skills but will find it hard since this is an away Test. Back New Zealand to take the home advantage and win the 1st Test of the series.