India's predicted XI vs New Zealand, 1st Test: Shreyas Iyer to make debut, spinners hold key

India's predicted XI vs New Zealand, 1st Test: The hosts endured a huge blow right before the start of the series as in-form batter KL Rahul was ruled out after sustaining a muscle strain on his left thigh. 
India's predicted XI vs New Zealand, 1st Test: Mohammed Siraj, Shubman Gill and Suryakumar Yadav during a practice session.(ANI)
India's predicted XI vs New Zealand, 1st Test: Mohammed Siraj, Shubman Gill and Suryakumar Yadav during a practice session.(ANI)
Updated on Nov 25, 2021 07:37 AM IST
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India's predicted XI vs New Zealand, 1st Test: Shreyas Iyer is all set to make his Test debut when India play New Zealand in the opening encounter of the two-match series at Green Park, Kanpur on Friday. Stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane confirmed the same in the pre-match press conference held earlier in the day. India vs New Zealand Live

Shubman Gill too is going to be part of the playing XI, a development confirmed by Cheteshwar Pujara in the presser held on Tuesday afternoon. 

However, India endured a huge blow right before the start of the series as in-form batter KL Rahul was ruled out after sustaining a muscle strain on his left thigh.  

Also Read | 'We will miss him': Rahane says India star's absence 'big blow' but backs youngsters to step up in IND vs NZ Test series

In this piece we take a look at India's Predicted XI for the 1st Test against New Zealand: 

Shubman Gill: In the absence of KL Rahul, Gill is likely to open the innings for India. Gill has not played red-ball cricket ever since his injury, which ruled him out of the last series played in England. The youngster will now be hungry for runs and will look to make the most out of the opportunity. 

Mayank Agarwal: While Rahul misses out due to injury, Rohit Sharma has been rested in the red-ball format, which makes Mayank Agarwal an automatic pick for the opening slot. 

Cheteshwar Pujara: The India Test specialist has been elevated to the vice-captain position for the opening encounter. He will hold the key if India lose early wickets. 

Shreyas Iyer: As confirmed by the captain, Iyer will be a part of the playing XI. He coming to bat at the number four position will be the ideal position for the middle-order batter.  

Ajinkya Rahane: Rahane the leader will look to add depth in the middle-order and could be seen walking after Iyer. 

Wriddhiman Saha: With KS Bharat the other wicket-keeper in the team, and Rishabh Pant rest, Wriddihiman Saha will be the captain's first pick owing to his massive international experience. 

R Ashwin: The senior spinner will be an automatic pick after his impressive run in the red-ball format.  

Ravindra Jadeja: India could be tempted to field three spinner instead of going with two and Jadeja's contribution with the bat will also give him an upper edge over the seamers. 

Axar Patel: The spinner had an awesome outing against England earlier this year in the home series, and this could work in his favour to be included in the playing XI.   

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Umesh Yadav: Umesh Yadav could be considered above Mohammed Siraj as he just injured his hands in the T20I series and the management would like to give the quick a bit more relaxation. 

Ishant Sharma: Ishant Sharma could be seen spearheading India's seam attack along with Umesh. The tall seamer has been a regular face in India's red-ball setup and is likely to be part of the playing XI. 

IND Predicted XI vs NZ, 1st Test: Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Shreyas Iyer, Ajinkya Rahane (captain), Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper), R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma 

Indiaโ€™s Test squad vs NZ: Ajinkya Rahane (Captain), Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara (vice-captain), Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper), KS Bharat (wicket-keeper), Ravindra Jadeja, R. Ashwin, Axar Patel, Jayant Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Md. Siraj, Prasidh Krishna 

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Tuesday, January 18, 2022