India vs New Zealand: All pace attack, new opener - 3 selection dilemmas facing India ahead of 2nd Test
Post India’s capitulation in Wellington, captain Virat Kohli wanted to protest his side from external factors and instead, asked them to focus on their skills, learn from the mistakes committed and then march on to Christchurch. It the first look of the pitch for second India vs New Zealand Test match is anything to go by, it will be another stern examination for the Indian batting order.
The task of the Indian management will also be cut out - they will be expected to make a couple of tactical changes to the side and here in this article, we take a look at three selection conundrums facing India ahead of the second Test match.
Prithvi Shaw vs Shubman Gill
Prithvi Shaw had a forgettable match in Wellington and there were concerns raised over his technique against the moving ball. However, captain Virat Kohli backed the young man to ace conditions and then take on the bowling attack.
India could be forced to make a change as Shaw skipped training two days before the match owing to a swelling on his left foot. Although he has not yet been ruled out, Shubman Gill comes back in focus and what could work in his favour is that he has been a man in form in New Zealand conditions with the India A side.
Ravichandran Ashwin vs Ravindra Jadeja
Looking at the track, New Zealand could well be go in with an all-pace attack. Will India go the same way, or will they include a spinner in their arsenal? R Ashwin had a good match with the ball in Wellington, but his batting form has dipped massively since 2017.
The Indian management could hence, look at Ravindra Jadeja as the spinning all-rounder in the side and he could be used as a defensive option from one end.
Spinner or Umesh Yadav
New Zealand coach Gary Stead hinted at going ahead with an all-pace attack for the Christchurch Test. Neil Wagner, who is back after a paternity break, will walk into the side. Kyle Jameison, who was might impressive with both bat and ball in Wellington, will be hard to drop and since, Ajaz Patel was not used too much in the 1st Test, the Kiwis could well attack with pace.
India have Umesh Yadav in the ranks and he is a bowler who could make use of the conditions on offer as he relies on swing and seam. Hence, Kohli could be tempted to give him a go instead of a spinner and India too could go in with 4 frontline quicks. Ishant Sharma’s injury can also force Kohli to go for Umesh or Navdeep Saini, or India can go for both the bowlers and drop a spinner.
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- A case in point is his last innings in Test cricket when he scored a gritty 96 in the second innings on a vicious turner in Bengaluru. His efforts went in vain as India lost the match and the series to Pakistan.
- Ind vs Eng: England got knocked out of contention for WTC final in June with their 10-wicket triumph in the day-night third Test at the Narendra Modi Stadium.
- India vs England, 3rd Test: He was awarded the man of the match award for his spectacular performance against England in his home ground.
- “I think we need to stand up and take notice of what Ashwin has done. In Tests, he is a modern-day legend. As a captain, I am so pleased he is in my team,” Kohli said at the post-match presentation.
- This is a man who has been the fastest in the world to reach 200, 250 and 350 Test wickets, and yet derided for being someone who thrives only on home conditions.
- Ind vs Eng: The visitors were bundled out for 112 and 81 in consecutive days as India completed a 10-wicket win to take an unassailable 2-1 lead in the series. A total of 17 wickets fell on the second day.
- Ind vs Eng: England had registered their previous lowest-total against India back in 1971 at the Oval. BS Chandrashekhar scalped 6 wickets to restrict Ray Illingworth-led England for 101 in the second innings.