IND vs NZ, 2nd Test: Will Mumbai rains dent series finale? Photograph:( AFP )
India and New Zealand will square off with each other in the second and final Test at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai on December 3. Will the unseasonal Mumbai rains play spoilsport to the series finale?
India and New Zealand faced each other in the two-match Test series opener at Green Park, Kanpur. The sporting track ensured that pacers, spinners as well as the batters had something to extract from the 22-yard cricket strip as the match lived upto expectations and resulted in a riveting draw.
Opting to bat first, Ajinkya Rahane-led Team India posted 345 all-out, riding on Shreyas Iyer's 105 and fifties from Shubman Gill and Ravindra Jadeja. In reply, NZ made 296 whereas India set up a stiff 284-run target for the visitors, courtesy a vital 49-run first-innings lead. At stumps on Day 5, the Kiwis managed a draw thanks to their unbeaten last-wicket stand as they were reeling at 165/9 when both teams settled for a draw.
With all to play for in the second and final Test, at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai, rain might make its presence felt and dent the proceedings in the series decider. The unseasonal rain in Mumbai has surprised one and all and the unfriendly weather conditions forced the two teams to cancel their practice sessions on Wednesday (December 1).
While Thursday is also expected to be on similar lines, there is some good news for cricket fans. The weather is expected to become a lot better as the match would progress. Here's the weather forecast for the city during the second Test:
Photo credit: Screengrab/Google
Talking about Team India, they will be boosted by the presence of Virat Kohli, who was rested for the three T20Is and Test series opener. His inclusion will mean one among the batters will be dropped. As per reports, opener Mayank Agarwal might be shown the door even though the pressure is building up on out-of-form senior pros Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara.
For the Kiwis, they will head into the finale with a lot of confidence after having denied a victory to Team India in the Kanpur Test.