After a highly competitive limited-overs series, it's time for the teams to don the white jerseys as India's tour of New Zealand heads into its final leg. The first of the two test matches gets underway from February 21 at the Basin Reserve in Wellington. Live telecast is scheduled to start at 11:30 AM local time each day of the match.
Live streaming NZ vs IND 1st Test
TV channels: Star Sports, Sky Sport NZ, Sky Sports Cricket, SuperSport, Fox Sports, OSN Sports Cricket HD, Gazi TV, Astro Cricket HD
Live Streaming: Bet365, Hotstar, Now TV, Sky Go
This has generally been a bat-first venue but the toss-winning team might opt to bowl first if there is significant cloud cover and strong breeze on Friday morning.
The weather forecast for this opening test does not look too promising. Cloudy skies are expected from Friday to Tuesday and there is a chance of rain on each of the first three days. Temperatures are likely to range from 19 to 22 degrees Celsius each day.
307 and 322 are the average first and second-innings scores respectively at the Basin Reserve in tests. The scores here tend to drop drastically from the third innings onwards. Seam bowlers are likely to find plenty of movement due to the cloudy conditions.
Read on for team previews, betting tips, latest odds and match prediction for New Zealand vs India 1st Test 2020.
New Zealand Team News & Playing 11
NZ Team News
New Zealand have named a 13-man squad for this upcoming two-test series against India. Kane Williamson will be the leading the Kiwi pack that will welcome back pace spearhead Trent Boult who will be returning after having recovered from his injury. Henry Nicholls and Tom Latham are likely to open the batting followed by skipper Williamson and veteran Ross Taylor who will be playing his 100th test match. Left-arm Ajaz Patel is the only specialist spinner in this Kiwi spin attack. Neil Wagner has not joined the squad yet as he is expecting the birth of his child and his availability for this match is not confirmed. Pace bowler Matt Henry has been called up as a cover for Wagner but he may not be drafted into the playing eleven straight away. Instead, New Zealand could hand Kyle Jamieson his test debut.
NZ Key Players
Kane Williamson: The New Zealand captain is among the world's top five batsmen in test cricket and is one of the leading run-getters for his team in this format. Williamson has three hundreds and five fifties in twelve tests at the Basin Reserve.
Ross Taylor: He is the most experienced batsman in this line-up and will look to make his 100th test match a memorable one. Taylor has scored the most runs for New Zealand in this format and he is also the leading run-scorer at this ground.
Trent Boult: The fast bowler will be eyeing a strong return after a long injury layoff and he will be very threatening in these conditions, especially with the new ball. Boult has taken 40 wickets in 9 tests at this ground.
NZ Recent Form
New Zealand have not been consistent enough in recent times in the longest version of the game. They are coming into this series fresh off a 3-0 drubbing in Australia where they lost each of the three tests by massive margins - 296 runs at Perth, 247 runs at the MCG and 279 runs at the SCG. The Kiwis, however, have been very competitive at home, winning each of their last five series including the 1-0 win over England last year.
New Zealand Predicted Playing 11
Henry Nicholls, Tom Latham, Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor, BJ Watling (wk), Colin de Grandhomme, Daryl Mitchell, Trent Boult, Ajaz Patel, Neil Wagner/Kyle Jamieson, Tim Southee
India Team News & Playing 11
IND Team News
The Indian team has assembled a 16-man squad led by Virat Kohli for this test series. Ishant Sharma has recovered from his ankle injury and will join the likes of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami in the pace bowling contingent. In the absence of Rohit Sharma, Prithvi Shaw will likely open the batting alongside Mayank Agarwal. The big question, however, is who will they choose as the wicketkeeper - will they go with the power-hitting abilities of Rishabh Pant or will they prefer the better keeping skills of Wriddhiman Saha?
IND Key Players
Virat Kohli: The world's best test batsman is averaging close to 55 and is 11 runs away from overtaking Saurav Ganguly on the list of the leading Indian run-scorers in this format. After failures in the last two ODIs, skipper Kohli will look to start this series with a big knock.
Cheteshwar Pujara: He is a specialist when it comes to test cricket and bowlers usually have to work really hard to get his wicket. He will first look to tire out the bowlers and then pounce on them once the ball stops misbehaving.
Mohammed Shami: He has got a lot fitter and faster over the last couple of years. His great control over both in and out-swingers makes him a lethal weapon in this Indian pace attack. Shami is also an excellent exponent of the reverse swing with the old ball.
IND Recent Form
India have been on a roll in test cricket - they have not faced a single defeat in their last nine matches and are coming on the back of seven successive wins. They have won each of their last five series and have recorded series sweeps in four of them including the 2-0 hammering of Bangladesh at home in their most recent test assignment last year in November. Before that in October, Kohli's men blew away South Africa in a three-match home series.
New Zealand vs India Team Form in Last Five Matches
NZ : L L L D W
IND : W W W W W
NZ vs IND Head to Head
India have a 21-10 advantage from the 57 tests that they have played against New Zealand till date. 26 of those matches have ended in stalemates.
India have lost just once in their last eight test matches against the Kiwis; they have won six of them and drawn one.
The two countries have faced each other seven times at the Basin Reserve in the game's longest format with the hosts emerging victorious on four occasions. The visitors have won just once while two encounters have resulted in a draw.
NZ vs IND Head to Head Stats
New Zealand vs India Betting Odds
India are entering this first match of the test series as marginal favorites to win at odds of 2.10 with Betway and 2.20 with Bet365 and 10CRIC. New Zealand, despite playing at home, find themselves as the bookmakers' underdogs. The home team has been priced at 2.55 on 10CRIC, 2.50 on Bet365 and 2.40 on Betway. A drawn game stands at 4.70 with 10CRIC and 5 with both Betway and Bet365.
NZ Bet365 Odds
NZ to win the match: New Zealand are 2.50 with Bet365 to beat India in this match.
NZ batsman to score a fifty: Ross Taylor is 1.83 with Bet365 to smash a half-century in his 100th test match while skipper Kane Williamson is 1.66.
IND Bet365 Odds
IND to win the match: India are being offered at odds of 2.20 with Bet365 to win this match.
IND batsman to score a fifty: Virat Kohli is 1.61 and Cheteshwar Pujara is 2.10 with Bet365 to make a 50+ score in this opening match of the series.
NZ Betway Odds
NZ to win the match: New Zealand are 2.40 with Betway to win the first test.
NZ 1st innings top batsman: Kane Williamson is 3.60 with Betway to score the most runs for New Zealand in the first innings. Ross Taylor is 4.50 while Tom Latham is 5.
NZ 1st innings top bowler: Trent Boult is 3.20 with Betway to bag the best bowling figures for the home team in the first innings of this match. Tim Southee and Ajaz Patel are 3.75 and 5.50 respectively.
IND Betway Odds
IND to win the match: India are 2.10 with Betway to win the first test against New Zealand.
IND 1st innings top batsman: Virat Kohli is 3 with Betway to be the top batsman for India in the first innings.
NZ 10CRIC Odds
NZ to win the match: New Zealand have been priced at 2.55 with 10CRIC to win this opening test match.
NZ man of the match: Ross Taylor is 9.50 with 10CRIC to win the man of the match award in this first test while Kane Williamson is 8 and Trent Boult is up at 13.
IND 10CRIC Odds
IND to win the match: India are 2.20 with 10CRIC to beat New Zealand in this match.
IND man of the match: Virat Kohli is 7 with 10CRIC to win the man of the match. Cheteshwar Pujara has been priced higher at 11 while Ajinkya Rahane and Ravichandran Ashwin are 17 and 19 respectively.
New Zealand vs India Prediction
India are the number one ranked team in the game's longest format and they boast a strong overall record against New Zealand. The latter may have been struggling a little in tests but they have been very competitive at home. They are coming on the back of a 3-0 ODI series win and that will surely boost their morale heading into this series. The Kiwis have also lost only once in their seven test encounters against India at the Basin Reserve. Kane Williamson and his troops will look to put the Australia drubbing behind them and we expect them to start off with a win in Wellington.
Back New Zealand to beat India at 2.55 with 10CRIC, 2.50 with Bet365 and 2.40 with Betway.
Our Dream11 team for the first test is a balanced one with six players from New Zealand and five players from India.
Rishabh Pant and BJ Watling are both priced at 8.5 credits but we have chosen the latter as the wicketkeeper in our team.
We strongly suggest picking both the captains - Kane Williamson and Virat Kohli who are available for 10 and 10.5 credits respectively. Ross Taylor and Cheteshwar Pujara are also good picks and both have been priced at 9.5 credits.
Colin de Grandhomme and Ravindra Jadeja are the key all-rounders for their respective teams and we have included both of them in our Dream11 team at 8.5 credits each.
Trent Boult is likely to be menacing given the kind of conditions that are expected at Wellington, making him a must-pick at 9 credits. We have also picked Mohammed Shami for the same price along with Ajaz Patel and Ishant Sharma for 8 and 8.5 credits respectively.
We have picked Kane Williamson as the captain of our Dream11 team.
We have picked Virat Kohli as the vice-captain of our Dream11 team.