New Zealand vs India 2nd Test, Hamilton: Preview, prediction, likely XIs

New Zealand vs India 2nd Test, Hamilton: Preview, prediction, likely XIs

New Zealand India

Less than a week after a 10-wicket thrashing at Basin Reserve, Wellington, India will take field at Seddon Park, Hamilton, to level the 2-Test series against New Zealand. Given India’s record in New Zealand (a solitary Test win in the last 44 years) and how they performed in the first Test, that seems unlikely at this point.

India had an opportunity at Wellington when they, despite getting bowled out for 165, reduced New Zealand to 225/7. Then, not for the first time in their history, the New Zealand tail stepped up: they secured a 183-run lead before Tim Southee and Trent Boult rolled India over.

With 5/68, Ishant Sharma stood out for India as both Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami struggled to find their rhythm. There was some resistance from Mayank Agarwal (34 and 58) and Ajinkya Rahane (46 and 29), while Rishabh Pant was unfortunate to fall cheaply twice.

Unfortunately, the big two – Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli – failed, scoring 43 from 4 innings between them; and the Indian batting has seldom delivered outside the subcontinent once that has happened. The onus will be on the two of them.

New Zealand, on the other hand, ticked more or less all boxes. Apart from Boult and Southee, debutant Kyle Jamieson stepped up in the absence of Neil Wagner. They have little reason to worry if their batsmen convert their starts to big scores, which should more or less be their only concern at this stage.

All in all, New Zealand are favourites to win here.

Head to head

India hold a 21-11 lead despite the defeat at Basin Reserve. However, New Zealand lead 9-5 at home.

Key players

Kyle Jamieson (New Zealand): Having tormented India in the ODIs, Jamieson ripped through the top order in the first morning on Test debut, at Wellington. He finished with 4/39 before smashing 4 sixes in a 45-ball 44 to help New Zealand recover from a mini-collapse.

Ishant Sharma (India): Ishant had to bear extra burden at Wellington as both Bumrah and Shami went off radar, and he did an admirable job of rising to the challenge. Just three wickets short of the coveted 300-wicket mark in Test cricket, Ishant will have to spearhead the attack once again.

Likely XIs

New Zealand: Tom Latham, Tom Blundell, Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling (wk), Colin de Grandhomme, Tim Southee, Kyle Jamieson, Ajaz Patel, Trent Boult.

India: Prithvi Shaw, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wk), R Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah.


New Zealand to complete a 2-0 whitewash.