India are expected to give a strong response in the 2nd Test at Christchurch against New Zealand after losing the first Test by 10 wickets at Wellington. India would make a few changes to the XI to give a strong reply in the 2nd Test and level the series.
Cricwizz takes a look at possible XI India could field for the 2nd Test against New Zealand at Christchurch, which starts from Saturday.
Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill
Mayank chooses himself after being the lone Indian batsman crack a fifty in the first Test at Wellington. He needs support from the other end, but sadly Prithvi Shaw has lacked the application to stay put at the wicket. India may go in for Shubman Gill, who has been in great form of late. Gill is worth the risk in the 2nd Test.
C Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuman Vihari
There will be no changes in the middle-order as India have a settled look here. But Kohli and Co need to come good in the 2nd Test to thwart New Zealand from running away with the series. Much rest on Kohli showing the way with a positive batting that he has harped on recently. Rahane looked the 2nd best batsman after Mayank in the 1st Test and much depends on him as well.
W Saha in place of Rishabh Pant
The omission from limited-overs cricket has done a bit of harm to Pant’s game and the stylish keeper-batsman looks out of sorts, both in batting and keeping at the moment. India would do well to go with the trusted and safe pair of hands of W Saha, who is not that bad batsman either.
Ravindra Jadeja in place of R Ashwin
Ashwin’s lack of runs exposes the tail and India need runs from the lower order in conditions where 50-60 extra runs from them can make the difference in the end result. New Zealand lower-order batsmen made the difference in the Wellington Test.
Taking a cue from that, Kohli would be forced to call back Jadeja, who is a technically sound batsman than Ashwin and can rally with the lower order to score a few valuable runs. Besides, his bowling can put pressure for the pacers to reap the rewards.
Navdeep Saini in place of Jasprit Bumrah
India would be tempted to hand Saini his maiden Test cap and drop or rest Bumrah, who suddenly seems to have lost his way to pick wickets after his return from injury. Bumrah has just one wicket to show in the last four internationals. In the Wellington Test, he looked ordinary as New Zealand batsmen seemed to have sorted him out.
Saini could be the mystery bowler that could break the back of New Zealand batting.
Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami
Ishant Sharma picks himself after a five-wicket haul in the last Test. Although Shami wasn’t that impressive, his ability to run through the batting line-up in 2nd innings could turn out to be a match-winning one.
Possible XI: Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill, C Pujara, Virat Kohli (Captain), Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuman Vihari, W Saha (keeper), Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Navdeep Saini