Hello and welcome to Sportstar’s LIVE coverage of the warm-up match between India and New Zealand XI.
- Both Pujara and Mayank are off the mark. India 3/1
- Cheteshwar Pujara joins Mayank Agarwal.
- WICKET – Scott Kuggeleijn strikes to remove Prithvi Shaw for a duck.
- Toss Update: India chose to bat first. Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal are out there in the middle.
- Good morning viewers… Early start to the day and we will bring you the toss and other updates shortly.
India: Prithvi Shaw, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli(c), Ajinkya Rahane, Wriddhiman Saha(w), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Shubman Gill, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant, Navdeep Saini
New Zealand XI: Henry Cooper, Will Young, Rachin Ravindra, Tim Seifert, Tom Bruce, Daryl Mitchell(c), Dane Cleaver(w), James Neesham, Finn Allen, Scott Kuggeleijn, Ish Sodhi, Blair Tickner
Opening gambit in focus as India takes on New Zealand XI in warm-up game
Clarity on the opening combination, a call on whether Ravichandran Ashwin’s variations can trump Ravindra Jadeja’s all-round skill-sets will be the focus for India in their three-day warm-up game against New Zealand XI starting here on Friday.
After the harsh reality check of 0-3 drubbing in the just-concluded ODI series, a red-ball warm-up game will be the most welcome distraction for Virat Kohli and his men as a precursor to the two-match Test series starting next week.
India could not have asked for a better practice game as the opposition team is full of New Zealand senior and A team players, including leg-spinner Ish Sodhi, all-rounder Jimmy Neesham and wicket-keeper Tim Seifert, in its ranks.
The inclusion of first-team white ball pacers Scott Kuggeliejn and Blair Tickner will be the kind of test which both Prithvi Shaw and Shubman Gill will relish as they make a case for their inclusion in the playing XI for the first Test starting in Wellington on February 21.
Shubman will be itching to show his skipper that he is ready for the big debut which is eagerly anticipated among his growing legion of fans, despite his international career being two-match old.
India: Virat Kohli (captain), Mayank Agarwal, Prithvi Shaw, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vc), Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Hanuma Vihari, Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Ravichandran Ashwin, Rishabh Pant, Navdeep Saini, Shubman Gill.
New Zealand XI: Daryl Mitchell (captain), Finn Allen, Tom Bruce, Dane Cleaver, Henry Cooper, Scott Kuggeleijn, James Neesham, Rachin Ravindra, Tim Seifert, Ish Sodhi, Blair Tickner, Will Young. 13th men: Jake Gibson (Friday) and Scott Johnston (Saturday and Sunday)
Shubman Gill: There is no fight for spot with Prithvi Saw
Promising India batsman Shubman Gill insists he is not competing with fellow young gun Prithvi Shaw for the opener’s slot in the first Test against New Zealand but if he does get the opportunity, he will not ‘let it go waste’.
With a double hundred and a century against New Zealand ‘A’ here, Gill has made everyone take notice despite Shaw being firmly back in the mix for the upcoming two-match series starting in Wellington from February 21.
“Obviously, our careers started at the same time but there is no fight as such,” Gill said on Thursday when asked about his take on his competition with the former India U-19 captain.
Both Gill and Shaw are 20 and considered the stars of the future after a splendid runs in age-group cricket.