India have cruised to a 372-run victory after swiftly bowling out New Zealand on day four to claim their two-game Test series 1-0.

Jayant Yadav claimed four wickets within nine legal deliveries after the Black Caps resumed at 140-5 chasing an improbable 540 on the fourth day in Mumbai, eventually dismissing the visitors for 167.

Indian opener Mayank Agarwal was named Player of the Match after his first innings 150 set up the win, backing that up with a second innings half-century.

New Zealand left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel had taken a sensational 10-wicket haul in the first innings but the Black Caps struggled for runs, making only 229 for the game.

The margin was India's biggest win by runs in Test history, along with New Zealand's most significant runs defeat. It was also India's 14th consecutive Test series triumph at home.

Ashwin reaches 300 Test scalps at home

Ravichandran Ashwin fittingly claimed the final wicket to secure victory for India, with overnight batsman Henry Nicholls (44) stumped by Wriddhiman Saha, securing eight scalps for the game, with 34-4 in the second innings.

The 35-year-old off-spinner was India's most fruitful bowler for the game but also brought up his 300th wicket on home soil with Nicholls' dismissal. The wicket also was Ashwin's 50th for the calendar year.

Ashwin had feasted on New Zealand's tail-end in the first innings, but claimed four of the top five in the second.

Agarwal exceeds history maker

The exceptional nature of Agarwal's game was underlined by the fact he won Player of the Match honours ahead of someone who took the third 10-wicket haul in Test cricket history.

Agarwal made 212 runs for the game, 17 shy of New Zealand's entire total and his contribution did not stop there, taking the catch for tail-ender Will Somerville's wicket on the fourth day, the ninth to fall.

India have cruised to a 372-run victory after swiftly bowling out New Zealand on day four to claim their two-game Test series 1-0.

Jayant Yadav claimed four wickets within nine legal deliveries after the Black Caps resumed at 140-5 chasing an improbable 540 on the fourth day in Mumbai, eventually dismissing the visitors for 167.

Indian opener Mayank Agarwal was named Player of the Match after his first innings 150 set up the win, backing that up with a second innings half-century.

New Zealand left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel had taken a sensational 10-wicket haul in the first innings but the Black Caps struggled for runs, making only 229 for the game.

The margin was India's biggest win by runs in Test history, along with New Zealand's most significant runs defeat. It was also India's 14th consecutive Test series triumph at home.

Ashwin reaches 300 Test scalps at home

Ravichandran Ashwin fittingly claimed the final wicket to secure victory for India, with overnight batsman Henry Nicholls (44) stumped by Wriddhiman Saha, securing eight scalps for the game, with 34-4 in the second innings.

The 35-year-old off-spinner was India's most fruitful bowler for the game but also brought up his 300th wicket on home soil with Nicholls' dismissal. The wicket also was Ashwin's 50th for the calendar year.

Ashwin had feasted on New Zealand's tail-end in the first innings, but claimed four of the top five in the second.

Agarwal exceeds history maker

The exceptional nature of Agarwal's game was underlined by the fact he won Player of the Match honours ahead of someone who took the third 10-wicket haul in Test cricket history.

Agarwal made 212 runs for the game, 17 shy of New Zealand's entire total and his contribution did not stop there, taking the catch for tail-ender Will Somerville's wicket on the fourth day, the ninth to fall.

Ravichandran Ashwin struck three times as India closed in on a series victory after Ajaz Patel claimed New Zealand's second-best Test match figures on day three at the Wankhede Stadium.

India declared on 276-7 in Mumbai on Sunday to set the Black Caps a highly improbable 540 to win, and the tourists are facing a crushing defeat in the second and final Test of the series after closing on 140-5.

Patel became only the third bowler to take all 10 wickets in a Test innings on day two and the New Zealand spinner finished with incredible match figures of 14-225, surpassing Ian Botham's 13-106 in Mumbai in 1989 as the best taken against India.

It was very much India's day once again, though, after Mayank Agarwal top scored with 62, having made a magnificent century in the first innings.

Cheteshwar Pujara and Shubman Gill made 47 apiece, while captain Virat Kohli chipped in with 36 before Axar Patel smashed an unbeaten 41 off 26 deliveries.

Ashwin (3-27) came to the fore yet again on a challenging surface after Kohli declared late in the afternoon session, removing openers Tom Latham and Will Young before sending Ross Taylor on his way.

Daryl Mitchell (60) played with great assurance as New Zealand moved beyond their embarrassing first-innings total off 62 all out until he holed out off the bowling of Axar and Tom Blundell was run out for a duck.

Henry Nicholls batted with admirable patience and was still there on 36 at stumps, but India are on the brink of gaining a measure of revenge for their defeat in the inaugural World Test Championship final.

 

Patel only second to Hadlee

Spinner Patel shot to prominence with his astonishing display with the ball in his city of birth on Saturday.

The 33-year-old tweaker's one-man show continued when he dismissed Agarwal and Pujara before Rachin Ravindra (3-56) became the first Black Caps bowler other than Patel to take a wicket in the match, Gill the man to become his first Test victim.

Only Richard Hadlee has claimed better match figures for New Zealand than Patel, when the legendary all-rounder took 15-123 against Australia in November 1985.


Ashwin ending memorable year on a high note

It has been an outstanding year for Ashwin, who followed up his devastating first-innings exploits by reaching the 50-wicket landmark for 2021.

The wily Ashwin took 4-8 on day two and the New Zealand batsmen struggled to read him once again, Latham pinned lbw before Young was caught at short leg and Taylor's positive approach did not pay off when he was taken by Pujara.

Mitchell and Nicholls made a fight out it in a stand of 73, but Ashwin looks poised to take yet another five-wicket haul with two days remaining.

Ajaz Patel sensationally became only the third man to take all 10 wickets in a Test innings before India dominated New Zealand on an astonishing day two of the second Test.

Spinner Patel claimed stunning figures of 10-119 as India were bowled out for 325, but the tourists were skittled out for only 62 in reply as the India attack ripped through their batting line-up.

The hosts ended the day 69-0 in their second innings in Mumbai, with a commanding lead of 332 heading into day three.

Patel started where he left off on day one, taking the wickets of Wriddhiman Saha (27) and Ravichandran Ashwin (0) in consecutive balls during the first over, before eventually removing Mayank Agarwal for a brilliant 150.

Axar Patel (52) and Jayant Yadav (12) were the next victims, before Mohammed Siraj (4) edged an attempted sweep to Rachin Ravindra to make it a perfect 10 for Patel.

That was very much where the day peaked for New Zealand as India set about ripping through the Black Caps.

Siraj removed Tom Latham (10) before getting rid of Will Young (4) and Ross Taylor (1) in consecutive balls. The seamer nearly had a hat-trick, but a review show his delivery to Henry Nicholls pitched just outside leg stump.

Ashwin (4-8) then came to the fore, with Kyle Jamieson (17) and Latham the only New Zealand batsmen to make double figures.

Agarwal (38 not out) and Pujara (29no) calmly eased India through to stumps in a dominant position.


Shine slightly taken off historic day for Patel

It is an incredible story. A man born in Mumbai returns as a New Zealand player to take all 10 wickets in an innings. The only thing more surprising involving Patel on day two was that the New Zealand number 11 was out in the middle holding a bat just a couple of hours later.

It was just the third time in the history of men's Test cricket that a bowler has taken every wicket in a single innings, following in the footsteps of Jim Laker in 1956 and Anil Kumble in 1999.

The 33-year-old, who was New Zealand's not-out batsman, would probably appreciate a bit more help from his team-mates on day three.

Ashwin bowls devastating spell

New Zealand were already reeling after Siraj (3-19) reduced them to 17-3, but having seen what the spin of Patel had achieved, they must have been fretting about what Ashwin would do when he came on, and with good cause.

The 35-year-old bamboozled the tourists - missing injured captain Kane Williamson - and Axar Patel took 2-14 as the winners of the inaugural World Test Championship were humiliated.  

Ajaz Patel enjoyed a remarkable day two of the second Test between India and New Zealand as he claimed all 10 wickets in the hosts' first innings on Saturday.

Patel finished with figures of 10-119 in 47.5 overs in Mumbai, where he was born, as the tourists bowled out India for 325.

It was just the third time in the history of men's Test cricket that a bowler has taken a clean sweep of wickets in a single innings. The previous players to achieve the feat were Jim Laker in 1956 and Anil Kumble in 1999.

Shubman Gill was caught at slip after India had posted a commanding 80 without loss to start the day, and Patel followed up by skittling Cheteshwar Pujara and trapping Virat Kohli lbw – each for a duck – in the same over.

Shreyas Iyer followed before Wriddhiman Saha and Ravichandran Ashwin went in consecutive deliveries, although India had by this time moved to 224-6.

Mayank Agarwal, Axar Patel and Jayant Yadav fell for the loss of 30 more runs, and history was made when Rachin Ravindra caught Mohammed Siraj's high slice.

Australia's Aaron Finch described the innings as "the most amazing thing I've ever seen" while former India star VVS Laxman tweeted to say: "Sensational! Just sensational!! To take all 10 wickets in a Test innings is the stuff dreams are made of."

Former India head coach and all-rounder Ravi Shastri added: "One of the toughest things to do in the game of cricket. To have an entire team in your kitty in an innings is too good to be true. Simply unreal. Well done young man."

Mayank Agarwal held India's innings together with a terrific century on day one of the second Test against New Zealand, as Virat Kohli's return to the team saw the captain dismissed for a duck.

India posted 221-4 in Mumbai, with Agarwal 120 not out at stumps after a valiant effort at the top of the order.

All the wickets went to New Zealand's left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel, who at one point reduced India from 80-0 to 80-3 when he removed Shubman Gill for 44 and added the wickets of Cheteshwar Pujara and Kohli in quick succession.

Kohli had spoken on Thursday of being determined to go the "hard yards" where necessary for India's sake, having missed the recent T20I series and the first Test in order to take a breather.

Ajaz had Gill caught by Ross Taylor at slip before bowling Pujara with a heavily turning delivery and getting an lbw verdict to dismiss Kohli, who was not reprieved by a review with no sign of an inside edge.

Partners came and went, but Agarwal - who kept his place in the team while Ajinkya Rahane missed out through injury - ploughed on, making a case to stay in the side for India's next assignments, although Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul may have something to say about that. Rohit has been rested for this series, which Rahul has missed due to injury.

Shreyas Iyer, who had a century and a fifty in the first Test, fell for 18 this time around to end an 80-run partnership for the fourth wicket, and Agarwal and Wriddhiman Saha (25no) put on 61 to guide India through to the close with no further casualties, leaving the deciding match of a two-game series finely poised.


Agarwal earns his place

A cover drive off Daryl Mitchell took Agarwal into three figures, his fourth Test century. He then spanked Ajaz for six from the penultimate ball of the evening to cap an impressive day's effort. Agarwal has converted two of his previous tons into doubles, against South Africa and Bangladesh, and will hope to do the same here, having revealed some words of advice from coach Rahul Dravid.

"He had told me, 'When you get set, make it big'," Agarwal said. "I am happy to have capitalised on the start that I had. But that message was very clear from Rahul, that I should make it count.

"This innings was more about grit and determination, just to stick with the plan and be disciplined. I know I didn't look good sometimes, but I got the job done. Getting runs in this format, the hardest format of the game, is the most satisfying feeling."

Special day for Ajaz

Four wickets anywhere is good going for a bowler, but for Ajaz this doubtless felt particularly special. He was born in Mumbai and emigrated with his family to New Zealand in 1996, going on to make his Test debut in 2018. Now 33 years old, he put India in a spin and will be chasing a third Test five-wicket haul on Saturday.

Virat Kohli is ready to put in the "hard yards" with the bat as he returns to India duty for the series-deciding second Test against New Zealand.

Captain Kohli elected to sit out the T20I series and the first Test against the Black Caps and has been working with former India batting coach Sanjay Bangar during his time away from the team.

He has made 41 centuries across all formats as captain of India, which puts him level with Ricky Ponting for the most while serving as an international skipper, and Kohli declared he feels ready to stay at the crease for a long time in Mumbai. Kohli's last international century came over two years ago, in November 2019 against Bangladesh.

Ahead of Friday's start to the match, rain impeded the teams and meant practice sessions at the Wankhede Stadium could not go ahead as planned on the eve of the Test.

Both sides were toying with selection options as a result of the weather, and it remained to be seen who would make way for Kohli's return, with Ajinkya Rahane perhaps the batter most vulnerable despite captaining India in the first Test.

Kohli said: "I really enjoy playing at the Wankhede. That's a ground that I've always had happy memories in. More than that, I think it's the impact you leave on the team that matters to me more. That was the focus in the past and that's precisely my focus every time I take the field.

"If the situation demands me to bat for longer periods and get the amount of runs that puts the team in a pole position or a dominant position or gets the team out of trouble, I take a lot of pride in doing that.

"Not all the time will you have phases where you bat the same way, and you have to understand and accept that in a long career span, so it's all about putting in the hard yards, working hard on your game, staying very balanced, staying in a space where you understand you are progressing in the right direction, and you walk on the field knowing you're prepared fully and you're ready to give your best, and after that it's all about execution.

"You have to be professional and understand when there is lack of execution or there is a lack of good decision-making. That's always been my point of analysis on my personal game, whether I've committed a mistake, what the situation was like, how can I improve, how can I get better, and that is something I will continue to strive to do and try to put in the performances that help the team in any way that I can."

It will be Kohli's first match under new coach Rahul Dravid, and follows on from the drawn opening Test in Kanpur that saw New Zealand's 10th-wicket pairing of Rachin Ravindra and Ajaz Patel defy India, clinging on for the draw late on the fifth day.


Spin or extra speed? The choice facing both teams

With plenty of moisture in the air, and the suspicion the Mumbai pitch will serve the quicks well, there could well be changes to the bowling line-ups on both teams. India would consider bringing in Mohammed Siraj, while New Zealand have Neil Wagner waiting to come in, with William Somerville potentially vulnerable.

India chasing hat-trick of Wankhede wins

The hosts last played a Test at this ground in 2016, when Kohli made a double century in an innings win over England. They also won at the ground in the match before that, also by an innings but this time against West Indies. Victory by any means would be welcomed by India this time, given this is the second and last match in the series. They have won four of nine Tests at the ground since 2000, with South Africa, Australia and England (twice) having also enjoyed victories at the Wankhede.

A nail-biting first Test between India and New Zealand ended in a draw, despite the hosts coming within one wicket of victory in Kanpur on day five.

Some expert spin bowling from Ravindra Jadeja (4-40) and Ravichandran Ashwin (3-35) helped India reduce their opponents to 165-9, but they were denied the win by some determined batting and poor light.

A slow-moving pitch that showed little sign of day five deterioration made it difficult for either team to aggressively seek victory, and despite a brief flurry from Tom Latham and Kane Williamson, the Black Caps rarely looked like playing for anything other than a draw.

Resuming on 4-1 and chasing a target of 284, New Zealand set about frustrating the hosts, not losing any wickets before lunch despite the presence of nightwatchman Will Somerville, who lasted 110 balls and managed 36 runs before succumbing to a brilliant catch from Shubman Gill off the bowling of Umesh Yadav.

Latham (52) and Williamson (24) then occupied the crease for another 19 overs, though Latham was eventually back in the pavilion after being bowled by Ashwin.

Ross Taylor (2), Henry Nicholls (1) and then Williamson all fell to lbw decisions to give India hope, but Tom Blundell (2) and Rachin Ravindra (18) took another nine overs out of the game before the former unluckily clipped the ball onto his stumps.

Jadeja thought he had Ravindra lbw but the initial out decision was reversed on review with the impact outside off stump, but after taking the second new ball just a few overs later, the same bowler trapped Kyle Jameison (5) instead, this time successfully, and Tim Southee (4) soon followed to leave New Zealand 155-9.

Urgency gripped India with the light fading over the Green Park Stadium, but they were unable to dislodge either Ravindra or Ajaz Patel, who defended the final nine overs before bad light stopped play.

The second Test begins on Friday in Mumbai.

Spin almost leads to win for India

India began the morning session as favourites, but an inability to dislodge nightwatchman Will Somerville looked certain to cost them.

A second session fightback was followed by steadily taking more wickets in the final session, and the bowling in particular of Ashwin and Jadeja took their team to the edge of a win that had seemed impossible at lunch, with all four of the latter's wickets coming via lbw. Fortune swung the way of New Zealand, though, who held on for the draw.

Latham and Somerville save the day for Black Caps

Latham shone with a first-innings 95, followed up by a vital 52 in the second, though more crucial was the 146 balls he ticked off as well as managing an improbable partnership of 76 with Somerville that took 32 overs out of the game.

It was Ravindra and Patel who were the heroes at the end, holding off one last India attack in the final overs, but the work during the morning session from Latham and Somerville is what gave them the opportunity to do so.

Shreyas Iyer and Wriddhiman Saha made crucial fifties on another topsy-turvy day on day four of the first Test between India and New Zealand.

The hosts recovered from 51-5 in their second innings with Test debutant Iyer (65) following up an impressive century in the first, and Saha adding an unbeaten 61 before India declared on 234-7.

Chasing a target of 284, New Zealand lost Will Young (2) early in their reply and needing 280 runs to win ahead of what promises to be a tense final day.

Resuming on 14-1, India lost five wickets in a troublesome morning session with Tim Southee and Kyle Jamieson snagging a pair of wickets and Ajaz Patel also doing damage.

Iyer was once again his team's main protagonist, though, putting on partnerships of 52 and 64 with Ashwin (32) and Saha to turn the tide.

He eventually nicked Southee behind to Tom Blundell but Saha, who had four fours and one six in his knock, continued to frustrate the tourists and an eighth-wicket stand of 77 with Axar Patel convinced stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane to call it.

As the light began to dwindle, only four overs were possible in New Zealand's reply, but there was still enough time for Ashwin to trap Young (2) lbw, who was too late calling for a review that would have shown the ball missing leg stump.

Debut to remember for Iyer

In a Test match relatively short of runs, the 170 across both innings from Iyer has been vitally important for his team, and is particularly impressive given he last played a multi-day match nearly three years ago.

Iyer hit eight fours and a six from the 125 balls he faced on Sunday, but most importantly, he dragged India back into the Test match and will be a strong contender for player of the match should his team complete the job on day five.

New Zealand unable to keep India down

It was the second time in as many days that New Zealand forced themselves into an excellent position, before allowing India to regain control as the day progressed.

After collapsing from 197-2 to 296 all out in their first innings on day three, the Black Caps had India reeling with only five wickets remaining and a 100-run lead, before allowing them to add a further 183 with the next two wickets before the declaration.

The first Test between India and New Zealand swung back in the hosts' favour on Saturday thanks to the brilliance of Axar Patel.

The left-arm spinner accounted for Tom Latham, who was just five runs short of a century, before making light work of the lower order to finish with figures of 5-62.

It was the fifth five-four Axar has recorded in his previous seven innings in Test cricket and it seemed to inspire the rest of India's attack as they left New Zealand all out on 296.

Latham and Will Young had put New Zealand in a commanding position of 129-0 at the close of day two, and their partnership of 151 steered the Black Caps to 213-2 despite the best efforts of Axar and Ravichandran Ashwin (3-82).

However, the match changed course in the afternoon session. Umesh Yadav trapped Kane Williamson lbw after the captain managed just 18 off 64 deliveries, and Axar took the wickets of Ross Taylor (11) and Henry Nicholls (2) while only giving up 14 runs in an 11-over spell.

Tom Blundell and Tim Southee were then skittled by Axar, who capped his performance by catching Kyle Jamieson just as he was building up steam on 23.

There was time for India to put some runs on the board before the light faded, although the excitable crowd in Kanpur was stunned into eerie silence when Jamieson bowled Shubman Gill for his 50th Test wicket with the first ball of the second over.

India will resume on day four on 14-1 with a lead of 63 runs.

Axar hogging the limelight

New Zealand looked to have the match under their control at 196-1 until Axar intervened. It was his fifth five-wicket haul of 2021; the last player to record as many in the year of his Test debut was Australia's Rodney Hogg back in 1978.

"Taking five wickets in seven innings is something the other team-mates have been teasing me about. It's like a dream within a dream start," he said.

Jamieson keeps up New Zealand spirits

After failing to make the most of Latham and Young's impressive opening stand, New Zealand heads were down as India began their second innings.

However, Jamieson's terrific ball to Gill might just have halted the hosts' momentum. It also made the 26-year-old the fastest man to reach 50 Test wickets for New Zealand, his half-century coming in just nine matches, with previous record-holder Shane Bond doing so in 12.

New Zealand fought back brilliantly on day two of the first Test after India debutant Shreyas Iyer made a classy debut century in Kanpur.

India were all out for 345 on Friday after losing six wickets for 79 runs, Tim Southee (5-69) doing much of the damage as he claimed a 13th five-wicket Test haul.

Iyer made a superb 105 at Green Park and Ravindra Jadeja was out for 50, his overnight score, while Ravichandran Ashwin chipped in with 38.

India had been in a strong position when they resumed on 258-4, but the tourists hit back like the world Test champions that they are, Southee setting the tone and Ajaz Patel taking 2-90 after Kyle Jamieson struck three times on day one.

Will Young and Tom Latham then frustrated India by taking the Black Caps through to the close on 129-0.

Young – playing his first Test in India – was unbeaten on 75 and Latham reached 50, the openers demonstrating great temperament and technique.

Latham successfully reviewed after being given out leg before and caught behind to Jadeja and Ashwin respectively as India failed to make a breakthrough.

Young and Latham will resume on day three with New Zealand trailing by 216 as they eye a first Test victory in India for 33 years.


Dream debut for Iyer, Southee outstanding

Iyer got his chance with India missing the likes of captain Virat Kohli, KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma, and he grabbed it with both hands.

After striding to the crease on 75, the 26-year-old went on to become the first India batsman since Prithvi Shaw in October 2018 to make a hundred on his Test bow.

Iyer fell tamely when he was taken by Young off the bowling of Southee, who was outstanding as he bowled 11 overs unchanged in a brilliant spell during the opening session and was rewarded with another five-wicket haul.


Black Caps openers rock solid

A broken hand sustained by Devon Conway during the T20 World Cup opened the door for Young to partner Latham at the top of the order.

The right-hander gave another demonstration that he is very much at home on the Test stage, rock solid in defence and also playing positively as he crafted a second half-century in only his fourth match in the longest format.

Trusty left-hander Latham was watchful as he batted with great assurance to register a 21st Test half-century, with the openers making the India bowlers toil as they built a strong platform.

Shreyas Iyer marked his Test debut with 75 not out as India held the upper hand by reaching 258-4 at stumps on day one against New Zealand.

Following 54 appearances in limited-overs internationals for his country, Iyer was given the opportunity in the long format and showed he has what it takes in this first game of a two-match series.

The 26-year-old shared an unbroken 113-run fifth-wicket partnership with Ravindra Jadeja, who scrambled a single in the fading light to end the day on 50 not out.

Their commanding batting meant India did not lose a wicket after tea, scoring 104 runs in 28 overs, with Iyer striking a six off William Somerville in the final over of the day.

It was his second maximum of the innings to go with seven fours, giving India a strong platform from which to build on Friday.

Kyle Jamieson was the pick of New Zealand's attack with 3-47 and said India were "maybe a fraction ahead".

He bowled India opener Shubman Gill for 52, having earlier had Mayank Agarwal (13) caught behind, then got lucky when India captain Ajinkya Rahane played on to go for 35.

Cheteshwar Pujara was caught by wicketkeeper Tom Blundell off Tim Southee for 26, but Iyer and Jadeja's solid union meant India finished the day on top at Kanpur's Green Park Stadium.

Jamieson told Sky Sports: "Hopefully the new ball swings a little in the morning and we can take a few, but at the same time there's two really classy guys in the middle and there's still some batters to come, so we'll have to be on our game tomorrow morning.

"I think we've hung around pretty good. To have them four down, certainly we'd have liked another one or two more, but if we have a good start early tomorrow morning we're still in a pretty good position."


Iyer in good company

As he navigated his way three quarters of the way to a century, Iyer found capable and experienced company at the other end. Jadeja is one of just five India players to have reached 200 Test wickets and 2,000 runs in the long format, and he now has 17 fifties alongside a lone Test century. Iyer became India's 63rd debutant to post a half-century, and he could become the 22nd newcomer to make three figures.

Not the only new face

As Iyer caught the eye, India Test debutant Rachin Ravindra found it altogether more tricky to make an impact. In seven overs of his left-arm spin, the 22-year-old Ravindra failed to make a breakthrough, giving away 28 runs.

Kane Williamson insists New Zealand will not be favourites when they start the defence of their World Test Championship title against an under-strength India side in Kanpur on Thursday.

The Black Caps beat India by eight wickets in the inaugural World Test Championship at the Ageas Bowl in June, so India will be out for revenge in the two-match series on home soil.

Virat Kohli has been rested for the first Test, so Ajinkya Rahane takes charge of a team that will not include Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami and Rishabh Pant.

Rohit, Bumrah, Shami and Pant have been given a rest for both games, while Rahul misses out due to a thigh strain.

India have plenty of strength in depth, though, and you have to go back 33 years for the last time they lost a home match against the Black Caps in the longest format.

New Zealand captain Williamson sat out India's 3-0 T20I whitewash of the tourists, which came so soon after his side had been beaten by Australia in the T20 World Cup final in Dubai.

The prolific batsman knows the Black Caps face a huge challenge, particularly without the opportunity to play any warm-up games.

He said: "I don't think we are favourites. One of the key strengths of Indian cricket is its depth. India has great knowledge of their own conditions, we know the challenge is a big one."

Williamson added: "As we have seen in this part of the world, the spin component has been very large and it has played a big role in changing the complexion of the game.

"I am sure throughout the whole series, the spin component will be a factor and it will be no different in Kanpur. It will be all about assessing the conditions as quickly as possible."

 

Opportunity knocks for Iyer

Shreyas Iyer will make his debut after Rahul was ruled out and is set to come into the middle order, with Shubman Gill to open with Mayank Agarwal.

The 26-year-old right-hander averages 52.18 in first-class cricket, scoring 12 centuries and boasting a strike-rate of 81.54.

Rahane hinted that India may play three spinners, stating: "We are not too sure of the combination. But in India you generally get spin-friendly wickets, the ball generally keeps slightly low and slow.

"We expect that but not too sure how the wicket will play. We will have to wait until tomorrow and assess from there."

Refreshed Jamieson closing in on half-century

Kyle Jamieson joined Williamson in missing the T20I series as the Black Caps managed his workload.

The paceman has made an outstanding start to his Test career and was man of the match when New Zealand beat India in the final in Southampton, having claimed match figures of 7-61.

Four wickets shy of 50 in the longest format, it would be a surprise if Jamieson does not come straight back into the team, particularly with Trent Boult not involved in the series.

New Zealand, who are unbeaten in nine Tests and have never gone 10 without defeat, must decide who replaces Devon Conway (broken hand) at the top of the order, with Will Young appearing set to get the nod.

India sealed a T20I series 3-0 clean sweep over New Zealand as Rohit Sharma and Axar Patel guided the home side to a 73-run victory in Kolkata.

The hosts had already dominated against visitors who were beaten by Australia in the T20 World Cup final just a week ago, cruising to consecutive victories to guarantee a series triumph before Sunday's final game.

India opted to bat first at Eden Gardens and raced to 69-0 at the end of the powerplay – their highest score in the first six overs of the series - before Ishan Kishan (29) fell two balls later.

New captain Rohit carried on imperiously, blasting three sixes in his 31-ball 56 to not only become just the second batter to hit 150 maximums in T20I cricket but also to place him top, above Virat Kohli (29), for the most 50-plus scores in the format.

The hosts eventually concluded on 184-7 from their 20-over allocation after Deepak Chahar clubbed 21 from eight deliveries as India collected 50 runs from the final five overs.

New Zealand's response began brightly with 16 taken off Chahar in the second over, but Axar (3-9) removed Daryl Mitchell, Mark Chapman and Glenn Phillips cheaply to leave the visitors 37-3 after their first six.

Martin Guptill (51) offered the only serious resistance for the tourists, who capitulated to 111 all out to hand India their eighth consecutive match win in T20I bilateral series against New Zealand.


Santer shines as Kiwi bowlers falter

Mitchell Santer (3-27) was the only New Zealand bowler to go for an economy under seven.

While picking up the key wickets of Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav and Rishabh Pant, the left-armer bowled tightly after the powerplay and, with more support, could have limited India to a lower total.

Almost perfect from Axar

Tasked with operating in the powerplay, Axar struck with his first delivery in the match and that set the tone for the rest of the game.

As well as picking up a trio of wickets in quick succession, the off-spinner produced 13 dot balls to concede just nine runs from his three overs.

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