Team India starts the home season of 2016-17 with the test series by facing New Zealand. Three match test series starts on September 22. Team India played their last test match at home in December, 2015. After several months, now India begins home season with this Kanpur Test.
In previous article, we gave you the preview of New Zealand Squad. Now, we are going to see player by player preview of Team India.
Virat Kohli :
Captain of the Ship, Virat Kohli had successful series in Caribbean recently. In 4 match test series, India dominated the host West Indies. After had some average season in 2015, Virat Kohli came back to his hot form in early 2016 against Australia in Australia. He used to carry on his form to in all 3 formats. As Team India played lot of T20I matches until WT20, he proved his batting skills almost in every match he played. He broke so many records in IPL 2016. He carry forward those achievements to West Indies tour recently and he shifted his momentum and form to test cricket too! He scored Double Ton in that series. As a Captain and the pillar of Indian batting line-up, he should take the responsibility on his shoulder. As everyone knows he like to face challenges. That means he deserved the place in every fantasy team!
Murali Vijay :
Vijay started his test career in 2008, till date he has played 39 tests for his country. After facing up and downs in early part of the International career, Vijay turned out as one of the best test opener for India in recent years. He became a regular test opening batsman from 2013-14 season and he cemented his place with his match saving performances. He has total of 2637 test runs to his name with the high score of 167. In recent West Indies tour, he played only one innings and missed out due to injury. Now he is recovered and ready to go. As he has ability to play long test innings, he is one of the player who should be in your fantasy teams!
Shikhar Dhawan :
Shikhar made his debut with a bang against Australia in 2013. He scored 187 runs in just 174 balls on test debut, which is known as best ever debut score by an Indian player. He has played 22 tests for his team and scored 1446 runs. After roaring debut he started to face lot of criticism in all formats. Still, when it comes to test cricket, he used to play some good innings and helps the team to score some better runs on the board. In recent WI tour, he scored 84 runs in first test. He may play some good innings against New Zealand, playing at home will strengthen his batting.
KL Rahul :
The recent time Sensation, KL Rahul is the current and future of Indian Cricket. He proves that every single time he steps in to the middle and he proves it in all 3 formats! He made his debut in test cricket against Australia on 2014 Boxing-day test. Since then he used to play in test matches. Selectors did not choose him in limited overs cricket. He played 8 matches till date and has 492 runs to his credit with high score of 158. IPL 2016 changed his career and made him as a player who can play in all 3 formats! He scored century on ODI debut vs Zimbabwe. His recent century in Florida T20I vs WI proved that he can play at any circumstances. Surely, he is going to shine in this home season!
Chateshwar Pujara :
The 28-year old top-order batsman, generally used to play at no. 3 position. He made his debut in 2010 vs Australia, till date he has scored 2482 runs in 35 test matches he played and High score are 206*. He replaced the former captain Rahul Dravid at no.3 position in tests and he proved his worth with his batting. In between he had some tough time where he failed again and again. After lot of efforts he again came back to form and he is in good form right now. In recent Duleep Trophy, he played for India Blue and he scored 166 vs India Green and also scored mammoth 256* vs India Red in Final. He is waiting to carry forward his hot form in upcoming test series. He is such a dangerous player in home condition and it will help him to score runs in this series. He may give you lot of points, if you have him in your fantasy team!
Ajinkya Rahane :
The Mumbaikar started his International career with ODIs and he played his first series vs England in 2011. Then he had some tough time and struggled to get place in National team for sometime. IPL seasons helped him to get his chance in Test Cricket. He played his first match against Australia in 2013, from that match he managed to cement his place in Indian Team. He generally play at no. 5 in tests. He has 1862 runs to his name in 26 test matches he played and his highest score are 147. Rahane had some good time in recent WI tour. He is looking forward for the home season. Hopefully he will come up with some big innings in this Test series!
Rohit Sharma :
Rohit made his T20 and ODI debuts in the year 2007. But he made his Test debut only on 2013. He has broken lot of records in Limited over cricket, including the highest ever ODI score of 264 vs Sri Lanka in 2014. But when it comes to test cricket, he struggles to keep his place in the team. His test average are 32.62. In recent WI tour, he got chance to play only 2 innings where he scored just 50 runs. As Team India has strong batting line-up, Rohit’s place in Playing XI is the biggest question mark now. Generally he do well at home conditions in Limited overs cricket, it may give him a chance to play a tests.
Wriddhiman Saha :
After MS Dhoni’s Tests retirement, Wriddhiman Saha cemented his place in the team as a permanent Wicket Keeper. The 31-year old made his debut in 2010. He has 15 tests to his name and he scored his maiden test century in West Indies recently. As a WK, he took 23 catches and 7 stumpings. He comes to bat at no.6 or no.7 and he has the role to play in that positions. As team need him to step up and play some long innings along with tail-enders, surely he has big role in this test series. When comes to fantasy, he deserved the place as a WK.
Ravichandran Ashwin :
The no.1 All-rounder in the World at the moment, Ravi Ashwin has huge role to play in this test series. He is the first Indian player who won 6 Man of the Series awards in Test Cricket. Ashwin entered into team as a specialist spinner, but now he changed his role as an All-rounder. He has played 36 test matches till date and he scored 1439 test runs. He hits 4 test centuries and all of them were against West Indies (high score 124). Ashwin is an off-spinner who use to bowl variety of deliveries. He picked 193 test wickets and just 7 short of 200! He crushed South Africa in the last test series he played at home. Hopefully, he may receive 7th Man of the Series award at end of this test series!
Ravindra Jadeja :
The All-rounder from Saurashtra made his debut in 2009 (ODIs & T20I). He played his first test match on 2012-13 season. He started his International career as a Batting All-rounder, currently he knows as Bowling All-rounder. In 17 tests he played, Jadeja picked 71 wickets with the best figures of 6/138. He had average series in WI, but he came to form with recent Duleep Trophy final, where he picked 10 wickets in the match. Last year, he accompanied Ashwin very well with his left arm spin which helped India to beat South Africa 3-0! As home season are back, R. Jadeja might play big role with his all-round abilities.
Bhuvaneshwar Kumar :
Bhuvi, the player who picked a wicket on very first ball he bowled in International Cricket for India. He debuted against Pakistan in 2012 (ODI) and he picked a wicket on the very first ball. He also picked a wicket on his T20I debut over. He used to in Indian Team regularly in all format, but injuries made him to be sidelined for some time. In 2016, he has played only 2 test matches against West Indies and he picked up 6 wickets. As he uses the home advantage very well, he may trouble the Blackcaps line-up with his swing bowling!
Amit Mishra :
The Leggie from Delhi has 20 test matches to his name and he grabbed 71 wickets. He picked more than 500 wickets in first class career, that shows his experience at home. He comes to bat lower down the order, as a tail ender he used to show some healthy contributions when ever the team needs. He used to hang around in the middle that helps him to score some runs on the board. His best test score are 84 and best bowling figures are 5/71. Guess, he may struggle to get place in Playing XI, because spin duo of Ashwin and Jadeja comes ahead of him. Once, he get his chance he will prove his abilities for sure.
Mohammed Shami :
The 26-year old from UP made his debut in 2013 against West Indies. He was very good in all formats during 2014-15 season. He was the best bowler of Team India in 2015 WC. But, the serious injury made him sidelined for long time. The injury killed more than one year of his career. When he back to play, he had very average IPL in 2016. He was not down with those poor show in IPL, he came back well and strong in recent times. He bowled some useful spells in recent WI tour. Shami used to bowl very well in home conditions, that means he deserved the place in Playing XI also in your fantasy teams.
Umesh Yadav :
Umesh has played 19 tests and he picked total of 58 wickets. He always struggles with economy in all 3 formats. If, Team India decides to go with 3 spinners, Umesh may warm the bench. So, take your time before pick him in your fantasy teams!
In the past, Blackcaps used to fight hard and shown their spirit against India in India. Expecting one more tough show from New Zealanders and it will makes this test series more interesting. Brace your seat belt and get ready to watch one thrilling test series! Also play well and Win with your Fantasy Teams!
All the Best to all Fantasy Players!