India v/s New Zealand: India wins toss at 500th Test, skipper Kohli opts to bat on rank turner

India v/s New Zealand: India wins toss at 500th Test, skipper Kohli opts to bat on rank turner

India captain Virat Kohli won the toss and opted to bat against a spin-heavy New Zealand in the first match of the three-test series at Kanpur’s Green Park Stadium on Thursday.

Kohli’s decision at the start of India’s 500th test match leaves New Zealand with the unenviable prospect of batting in the fourth innings on a track expected to assist the slow bowlers from as early as the opening day.

Realising and respecting the conditions, the tourists picked three spinners — Craig Mark, Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi — in their starting lineup.”The preparation has been good. Acclimatised to the heat in Delhi, but I supposed the wicket looks a little bit different. Exciting young team. We have got some world-class seamers who have shown their skills for a long period of time,” Williamson said.The test marks the beginning of a long home season for India and Kohli was determined to kick it off in style after a recent series victory in the Caribbean.”The start has been good in West Indies. Our preparation has been really good and the intensity is really high,” he said at the toss which took place on a humid and overcast morning.

“Looks like a pretty good wicket for day one. The start has been good in West Indies, preparation has been really good. The intensity is really high. Part of the 500th Test, I couldn’t even imagine I’d be captaining it. I am grateful and honoured.”For India, Lokesh Rahul was preferred to Shikhar Dhawan as an opening batsman, while leg-spinner Amit Mishra was omitted.

This Test marks a major milestone as India will play its 500th Test. To mark the occasion, BCCI has arranged festivities.500th Test. To mark the occasion, BCCI has arranged festivities.Former captains such as Sunil Gavaskar and Mohammad Azharuddin are expected to join Sachin Tendulkar and Kapil Dev at Kanpur’s Green Park as part of the festivities.India start the series just one point behind Pakistan, and they will be hopeful of returning to number one before Pakistan play three Tests against the West Indies in October and November.

Playing Squad:

India: Murali Vijay, Lokesh Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (captain), Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Ravichandran Ashwin, Wriddhiman Saha (wicketkeeper), Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav

New Zealand: Tom Latham, Martin Guptill, Kane Williamson (captain), Ross Taylor, BJ Watling (wicketkeeper), Luke Ronchi, Mitchell Santner, Mark Craig, Ish Sodhi, Neil Wagner, Trent Boult


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