New Zealand vs India 2020: Test Series Preview, Schedule and Squad News

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New Zealand and India have finished a five-T20I and three-ODI series and will now play two Tests. This Test series will be India’s first of the year – and a chance to take a few steps closer to a spot in the final of the 2019-21 Test Championship at Lord’s in London next year.

New Zealand gathered some good momentum with a clean sweep in the ODI series, but must switch mode for the longest format of the international game. As they do this, we will have the whole series covered with the latest New Zealand vs India news, free betting tips, cricket predictions, squad news and more.


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New Zealand vs India Test Series Schedule

The series will feature two Tests at a couple of New Zealand’s most famous Test grounds. The first match will be played in a city with two international cricket stadiums, as Wellington also has Westpac Stadium.

1st Test: Friday, 21 February 2020

Venue: Basin Reserve, Wellington

Start time: 4:00 (IST) and 22:30 (GMT, previous day)

2nd Test: Saturday, 29 February 2020

Venue: Hagley Oval, Christchurch

Start time: 4:00 (IST) and 22:30 (GMT, previous day)

New Zealand vs India 2020 – Test Squads

New Zealand have named fast bowlers Trent Boult and Kyle Jamieson and spinner Ajaz Patel in their 13-man squad for the series. Boult has recovered from the hand injury that prevented him from playing in the ODI series. Jamieson is uncapped at Test level, while Patel is the only specialist spinner in the squad, with Will Sommerville and Mitchell Santner overlooked.

Batsman Ross Taylor has been selected in the squad. He will become the first international cricketer to play at least 100 matches in each format – Test, ODI and T20I cricket – if named in the XI. All-rounders Colin de Grandhomme and Daryl Mitchell will bolster the bowling ranks in the absence of the injured Matt Henry and Lockie Ferguson. De Grandhomme and Mitchell’s roles with the bat, of course, will be important as well.

India are still without Rohit Sharma for this series. He has been ruled out due to a calf injury. One of Prithvi Shaw or Shubman Gill will open the batting alongside Mayank Agarwal in the absence of Sharma, while Hanuma Vihari has volunteered his services at the top of the order if required. Vihari, though, might not make the XI at all if India select an additional bowler at the expense of a batsman.

The balance of the XI is a bit out of kilter as all-rounder Hardik Pandya continues to recover from surgery. His absence will leave extra overs for the seamers to bowl, which is a concern amid Jasprit Bumrah’s lack of form and Ishant Sharma’s fragile match fitness.

Wriddhiman Saha might be the first-choice wicketkeeper ahead of Rishabh Pant, while Cheteshwar Pujara is in the squad as well. Pujara’s prowess is reserved for Test cricket by India. He doesn’t cross over into the limited-overs squads like many of the country’s other batsman. Pujara is a good pick to be India’s top batsman in the individual match markets.

New Zealand vs India Test Squads

New Zealand India
Kane Williamson (captain) Virat Kohli (captain)
Tom Blundell Mayank Agarwal
Trent Boult Ravichandran Ashwin
Colin de Grandhomme Jasprit Bumrah
Kyle Jamieson Ravindra Jadeja
Tom Latham Mohammed Shami
Daryl Mitchell Rishabh Pant
Henry Nicholls Cheteshwar Pujara
Ajaz Patel Ajinkya Rahane
Tim Southee Wriddhiman Saha
Ross Taylor Navdeep Saini
Neil Wagner Ishant Sharma
BJ Watling Prithvi Shaw
Shubman Gill
Hanuma Vihari
Umesh Yadav

New Zealand vs India 2020 – Test Series Preview, Latest Odds and Predictions

New Zealand and India are priced at 3.25 and 2.75, respectively, by bet365 to win the series. The draw is offered at 2.50. India’s last visit to New Zealand for a two-Test series was in 2014, when the hosts won one-nil. Ishant Pujara, Mohammed Shami, Ravindra Jadeja were part of the 2014 squad and are part of this one six years later.

Mayank Agarwal at 5.00 is a good pick to be India’s top batsman after both Tests with most popular cricket betting tips. He has made a habit of scoring big centuries after reaching 100. If he can successfully navigate the swinging new ball, Agarwal can really capitalise in friendly conditions. Prithvi Shaw, who is priced at 6.00 to be India’s top batsman for the series, will likely beat Gill to the other opening berth.

Alternatively, Hanuma Vihari at 11.00 to top India’s runs in the New Zealand Test series offers longer odds but could result in greater rewards. India won’t likely opt for a fifth frontline bowler and omit a batsman, as the have Jadeja around as an all-rounder. This should keep Vihari in the XI.

New Zealand have only won one of their last 15 Tests against India, but are a far more formidable unit these days than some of the XIs they put out in the past. Ross Taylor is massively key to this and, on the brink of a milestone 100th Test match, he’s priced at 4.00 to be New Zealand’s top batsman in this series, provided the hosts win the series. If not him, then Kane Williamson or Tom Latham at 3.00 and 4.50, respectively, are solid choices.

In the top team bowler markets, one can possibly look forward to Neil Wagner and Umesh Yadav being among the most popular cricket bets. Wagner’s success in New Zealand conditions is well documented. He has been priced at 3.75 to be the series’ top bowler for New Zealand. Yadav didn’t get a go in the preceding limited-overs series, but is looking good at 5.00 to be India’s top bowler, especially if Bumrah doesn’t find form quickly and Sharma continues to struggle with injury.


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Jonhenry
Jonhenry is a cricket nut. He has written about the game for several years and knows more about South African cricket - club cricket, in particular - than most. He has been published on most reputable cricket sites and, nowadays, devotes his knowledge of the global game to the iGaming industry. When he is not producing content about cricket, Jonhenry is playing, watching or coaching it. If not that, he's reading about the game or administrating his local cricket club.