IND vs NZ: Rahul Dravid speaks with Shreyas Iyer ahead of the first Test match.© AFP
With their first Test match of the two-match series set to begin on Thursday, India will be relying a lot on their home record against New Zealand. Both sides have faced each other in 60 matches, with India coming out on top with 21 wins and New Zealand have bagged 13 victories. Both sides have drawn 26 times without any drawn fixtures. It is worth noting that on Indian soil, India dominated over New Zealand with 16 wins and two losses out of 34 Test matches. The Blackcaps have a better recent record, winning their last three Test matches against India.
The last time both sides met was in the World Test Championship (WTC) Final, with the Blackcaps winning by eight wickets against Virat Kohli’s outfit.
In terms of their recent form in Test cricket, India have won twice, lost twice and drawn once. Meanwhile, New Zealand have registered four victories and a draw.
During the first Test match, all eyes will be on pacer Umesh Yadav, who will be aiming to lead the pace attack with Ishant Sharma. The likes of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami have been rested by the management.
With a better record at home, Umesh has played 28 out of his 49 Test appearances in India with 96 wickets. He is also one of the 15 pacers with 10-wickets in a Test match in India.
Other than Bumrah and Shami, the hosts will also be without Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul. The onus of scoring runs will lie with Ajinkya Rahane, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara and Mayank Agarwal.
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