After two one-sided limited-overs series between New Zealand and India, the focus now shifts towards the Test series between both the teams. India will lock horns with New Zealand in a two-match Test series starting from 21st February. With a lot of focus surrounding T20Is this year, the Test series against the BlackCaps is one of the two series that the Men in Blue will play this year.
With a number of Test specialists that won’t get an opportunity to play for India for nearly ten months now, will hope to give it their all in helping their team win the series for the first time since 2009.
Here, we take a look at 3 players to watch out for during the Test series against New Zealand:
1. Prithvi Shaw
The Mumbai-born youngster has been through various ups and downs in his first year at the international level. After scoring ton on debut, Shaw has gone through agony missing nearly an year of cricket. However, he is back now and will hope to redeem himself, if an opportunity is thrown at him.
After a fluent 39 in the second innings against NZ XI in the practice game, Shaw might have earned the opener’s slot in the first Test at Wellington. It would be an opportunity for him to announce his comeback with a bang and cement his position in the team.
2. Cheteshwar Pujara
Indian Test specialist, Cheteshwar Pujara is another batsman whose performances will be followed much closely in the upcoming Test series in New Zealand. Pujara had a vital role to play in India’s maiden Test series win in Australia and the team would hope a similar performance from Pujara against the Kiwis.
At No.3, Pujara has exhibited consistency in the longest format. It will be crucial for him and for other single-format players to make the best use of this opportunity on the Kiwi soil.
3. Jasprit Bumrah
Indian pacer Jasprit Bumrah will return to the red-ball action after missing India’s home series against South Africa. Bumrah, after having a shining outing against West Indies in August last year, had to miss out due to lower back stress fracture.
Ever since his return from injury, Jasprit hasn’t been at his usual best. Even in the ODI series against New Zealand, he was off-color and failed to pick any wicket in the entire series. It would be important for him to get back into form, if India are to create history on the Kiwi soil.
Cover picture credits: India Today