Post India’s capitulation in Wellington, captain Virat Kohli wanted to protest his side from external factors and instead, asked them to focus on their skills, learn from the mistakes committed and then march on to Christchurch. It the first look of the pitch for second India vs New Zealand Test match is anything to go by, it will be another stern examination for the Indian batting order.
The task of the Indian management will also be cut out – they will be expected to make a couple of tactical changes to the side and here in this article, we take a look at three selection conundrums facing India ahead of the second Test match.
Prithvi Shaw vs Shubman Gill
Prithvi Shaw had a forgettable match in Wellington and there were concerns raised over his technique against the moving ball. However, captain Virat Kohli backed the young man to ace conditions and then take on the bowling attack.
India could be forced to make a change as Shaw skipped training two days before the match owing to a swelling on his left foot. Although he has not yet been ruled out, Shubman Gill comes back in focus and what could work in his favour is that he has been a man in form in New Zealand conditions with the India A side.
Ravichandran Ashwin vs Ravindra Jadeja
Looking at the track, New Zealand could well be go in with an all-pace attack. Will India go the same way, or will they include a spinner in their arsenal? R Ashwin had a good match with the ball in Wellington, but his batting form has dipped massively since 2017.
The Indian management could hence, look at Ravindra Jadeja as the spinning all-rounder in the side and he could be used as a defensive option from one end.
Spinner or Umesh Yadav
New Zealand coach Gary Stead hinted at going ahead with an all-pace attack for the Christchurch Test. Neil Wagner, who is back after a paternity break, will walk into the side. Kyle Jameison, who was might impressive with both bat and ball in Wellington, will be hard to drop and since, Ajaz Patel was not used too much in the 1st Test, the Kiwis could well attack with pace.
India have Umesh Yadav in the ranks and he is a bowler who could make use of the conditions on offer as he relies on swing and seam. Hence, Kohli could be tempted to give him a go instead of a spinner and India too could go in with 4 frontline quicks.