Black Caps are in India now to play 3 tests and 5 ODIs. The first test going to start on Thursday. Ahead of this Test series, lets see the preview of Team New Zealand here.
Kane Williamson :
The Captain of the team is in fine form in all formats of Cricket. He took over test captaincy after Former Captain Brendon McCullum’s retirement. As a captain of the team, he started well with 2-0 win over Zimbabwe recently. As a player he proves every time he comes to bat. His batting position is no.3 and he used to play long innings almost every team the team needed. The 26 year old right hand batsman played 52 test matches till now and he scored 4393 runs with the highest score of 242*. As he has IPL experience and generally play well against spin, definitely it gonna be test for Indian bowlers. He is deserved the place in every fantasy team!
Tom Latham :
The opening left hand batsman is in very good form in recent times, especially in Test matches. He has played 22 tests and has 1554 runs to his name. His highest score in test cricket are 137. He smashed 2 centuries in recent tests vs Zimbabwe. As this is his first visit and playing his first test match in Indian pitch, it would be interesting to see how he faces Indian spin attack. Surely he is a long format material and worth to be in Fantasy teams!
Martin Guptill :
Guptill smashed double century in ODI during 2015 WC. He use to play big innings in both ODIs and T20s. But, when it comes to Test matches he struggles to score runs and to play long innings. He has played 44 test matches with total score of 2427 and his highest score 189. But in 2016, he played 6 test matches till now and scored just 234 runs with the high score of 87 vs Zimbabwe. He is a dangerous player, he could back to form on any moment. So, this test series might be place where he coming back to form.
Ross Taylor :
The most experience batsman in this New Zealand squad. The middle order batsman has 73 test matches to his name. He scored 5599 runs in test cricket till now and his highest score are 290. About his current form, he has scored 367 runs with the high score of 173* in recent Africa tour. As he has lot of experience in Indian pitches by playing test cricket and IPL in the past, he may be threat for Indian bowlers in this series. Once he set in the middle, he assure you with big scores. Expecting some good innings from him in this 3 match series and he deserved the place in fantasy teams.
Henry Nicholls :
Nicholls is one of the inexperienced player in this squad in terms of International Cricket. He has only 6 test matches to his credit with the score of 221 and his high score were 76. The 24-year old youngster used to play at no. 5 in recent test matches against both Zimbabwe and South Africa. The team want him to play well at this batting position and they are looking to make him as permanent player for this position. He has abilities to fill what the team wants from him and his First-Class career proves how good he is in middle-order. He may surprise all with some big innings in this series. Beware before pick your fantasy team.
BJ Watling :
The 31-year old Right hand wicketkeeper batsman used to play at no. 6 in recent Africa tour and he lived up to his team’s expectation with his useful contributions. He has played 42 tests for his country and scored 2322 test runs till date. His highest test score are 142*. As a wicket-keeper, he took 134 catches and 6 stumpings in these 42 tests. He is in very good form in recent times, he might come with some useful contributions and troubles Indian bowling attack during this series. As a Wicket-keeper he may a first choice to be in Fantasy Teams.
Luke Ronchi :
Luke Ronchi had amazing series against India in 2014 when India visited New Zealand. He played only 1 test match in his test career but his first class experience would help him. He played one amazing innings against Mumbai in practice match. He used to get chances in both ODI and T20s. But when it comes to Test matches, he warms the bench again and again. The century against Mumbai might bring him to playing XI again, if happens he will play his very 2nd test match. As a wicket-keeper, he is well experienced behind the stumps.
Mitchell Santner :
The Bowling all-rounder cemented his place in all 3 formats of the game. He debuted in all formats during 2015-16 season. From the day of debut in International cricket, he get chance to play in all formats. In tests, he has 7 matches to his name along with total score of 146 runs and his high score are 45 runs. In 7 tests he played, he grabbed 15 wickets. He is one of worthy spinner Black caps are ever produced and we witnessed it in WT20, 2016. Indians won’t forget his magic bowling spell of 4 overs, 4-11 in WT20 league match against the host India! When comes to Fantasy teams, give preference to the name Mitchell Santner!
James Neesham :
The 26-year old Batting All-rounder from Auckland has played only 9 test matches till now. He suffers with various injuries often. He played his last test match vs Australia in Nov, 2015. Now back in to New Zealand squad after 10 months time. He uses his all-round skills very well in all formats. In tests, his highest score are 137*. He is well dangerous player in the middle-order and helps the team when ever get the opportunity to show his skills. He took 12 wickets in those 9 test matches, once he get place in Playing XI, hopefully he will breaks Indian fans hearts with his all-round performances.
Neil Wagner :
Wagner was the best bowler for Blackcaps in recent Africa tour. He picked total of 20 wicket in 4 test matches during the recent visit of Zimbabwe and South Africa. He played a big role in that tour and he may continuous his form against India too. He played total of 23 tests and grabbed 94 wickets, just 6 wickets short of 100! His best bowling figures in tests are 6/41 vs Zimbabwe. He used to show some contributions with bat when ever he get opportunity to bat lower down the order. He is worthy customer for every Fantasy teams!
Trent Boult :
He is the most experience bowler in this Squad. He played 43 test matches, has 158 wickets under his belt. His best bowling figures are 6/40. He is the most valuable bowler of Blackcaps in recent years, but he is not in good form at the moment. He did not has good trip in recent Africa tour, where he took only 9 wickets in 4 test match and was expensive against South Africa at Centurion. Boult used to play for Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL and those experience might come in to play and helps him when he bowl in Indian pitches. Hopefully he will has some good time in India.
Mark Craig :
Mark debuted against West Indies 2 years ago. Totally he played 14 test matches and took 48 wickets. His best bowling spell were 7/94 vs Australia last year. He used to play some useful innings with bat too. He has total of 586 runs to his name with high score of 67. He played his last test against Australia in Feb, 2016. As Santner and Sodhi got the places in playing XI as spinners, Craig used to be in bench during recent tour of Africa. He may warm the bench again, but once he get his chance, he will prove his skills with both bat and bowl.
Doug Bracewell :
He is a bowler who played 27 test matches till date. He has total of 72 test wickets to his name with best bowling figures of 6/40. He had some good time against both Zimbabwe and South Africa with both bat and bowl. He proves his batting skills lower down the order. As a tail ender, he used to play some fearless shots and helps the team with some 30+ scores often. As Southee is ruled out, Bracewell may play all 3 test matches as a third seamer and he is worth pick for Fantasy teams, remind you his batting skills will give you more points!
Matt Henry :
As Tim Southee injured few days ago, Mark Henry joins the squad as a replacement player. The 24-year old from Christchurch has some good records in ODIs, where he picked 51 wickets in just 25 matches. But he struggles to get place in Blackcaps test team. He debuted against England in 2015, till date he played only 4 tests and picked up 10 wickets. He may sit out in this test series or they may use him as backup bowler, but Sub-continent pitches are right place for him show his bowling abilities. So, hope for some good show once he gets a game.
Ish Sodhi :
Indian born New Zealand player, Ish Sodhi is a leg-spinner who has played just 13 tests till to date. He has 35 wickets to his name in this short test career. He is just 23-years old and he is the future of New Zealand bowling attack. He might get all 3 games and expose his talent in Sub-continent which helps the spinners a lot. Sodhi also played some good innings as a tail-ender. His high score were 63. He must be there in your fantasy teams as Indian pitches helps the spinners!
Possible Playing XI for the First Test Match
Tom Latham, Martin Guptill, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls/James Neesham, BJ Watling, Mitchell Santner, Doug Bracewell, Neil Wagner, Ish Sodhi and Trent Boult.
We will come with Team India Preview 🙂