New Zealand chose to bowl v India
New Zealand won their second toss of the series, and asked India to bat on a green Hagley Oval pitch after a rain-enforced delayed start to play. The last time New Zealand lost a home Test after winning the toss was way back in 2009.
If that was a daunting statistic for India, they needed to beat those odds with their best bowler from last week sitting out. Ishant Sharma sprained his ankle again, one Test into what was a miraculous, ahead-of-time recovery from a grade-three tear. Umesh Yadav replaced him. That also weakened India’s lower-order batting, which meant Ravindra Jadeja replaced R Ashwin as the only spinner in India’s XI.
New Zealand didn’t bother with a spinner at all. Neil Wagner was back after his paternity leave, but New Zealand didn’t want to leave out Kyle Jamieson, who had a great debut in Wellington. Ajaz Patel missing out for Wagner was the only change for New Zealand.
India 1 Mayank Agarwal, 2 Prithvi Shaw, 3 Cheteshwar Pujara, 4 Virat Kohli (capt.), 5 Ajinkya Rahane, 6 Hanuma Vihari, 7 Rishabh Pant (wk), 8 Ravindra Jadeja, 9 Umesh Yadav, 10 Mohammed Shami, 11 Jasprit Bumrah
New Zealand 1 Tom Latham, 2 Tom Blundell, 3 Kane Williamson (capt.), 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Henry Nicholls, 6 BJ Watling (wk), 7 Colin de Grandhomme, 8 Kyle Jamieson, 9 Tim Southee, 10 Neil Wagner, 11 Trent Boult