IND vs NZ: Former player names who should be benched for 2nd Test Photograph:( AFP )
The second and final Test will now begin on December 3, at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai, where regular captain Virat Kohli will walk into the playing XI after being rested for the series opener. Who will make way for King Kohli?
India and New Zealand played out a humdinger of a first Test at Green Park, Kanpur. The series opener ended in a riveting draw with Kane Williamson-led New Zealand being 165/9 in pursuit of 284 set by Ajinkya Rahane-led India. When the fifth and final day commenced, all three results were possible as Kiwis needed another 280 runs whereas the home side were in search of nine more wickets.
While New Zealand played out the morning session without losing a single wicket, they surrendered the momentum from thereon. From 79 for 1, NZ were reduced to 155-9 before debutant Rachin Ravindra (18 not out off 91 balls) and Ajaz Patel survived 52 deliveries, for the final wicket, to ensure a draw.
The second and final Test will now begin on December 3, at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai, where regular captain Virat Kohli will walk into the playing XI after being rested for the series opener. While India may tweak their bowling combination, mainly replacing Ishant Sharma with another pacer, they are likely to go ahead with five bowlers. Hence, the axe will fall on one of their batters.
Among them, Mayank Agarwal and Ajinkya Rahane had an ordinary run in the Kanpur Test. While Cheteshwar Pujara also couldn't do much, he played a lot of deliveries in the first essay and is likely to hold onto his spot. Thus, former Indian all-rounder Madan Lal recently named the player who should be dropped for the Mumbai Test.
"I don't think so," said Lal on Sports Tak when asked if Rahane will be part of the playing XI for the final Test. "Shreyas Iyer scored valuable runs in both innings, and then Pujara is a batter who has scored runs. He may have not scored big hundreds but Pujara has stayed at the wicket and scored runs. The same cannot be said about Rahane though. So I feel that if you are to make a change, there is only one person whose place Virat can take, which is Ajinkya Rahane," he pointed out.
After the Kanpur Test, Rahane told the broadcasters, "Virat is coming back for the next game. We'll have to wait and see till the Mumbai game. I am not going to make any comments but the management will make a call."
India will aim to finish the series on a high, with a 1-0 scoreline following the Mumbai Test.