India host New Zealand in the first Test match at Green Park in Kanpur on 22 September (Thursday). This is the first test in the three-match series.
Where to watch live
Match starts at 5am BST. Live TV coverage is available on Sky Sports 2 and Sky Sports 2 HD. Click here for the live streaming link.
The first in what is going to be 13 Test matches for India at home starts on 22 September at Green Park in Kanpur. The Men In Blue are in for a busy summer considering the amount of five-day games they are going to play, but this can only be good for Virat Kohli's men as they look ahead to the future.
Currently ranked second in the ICC Test rankings, India who have 110 points trail leaders Pakistan by one point, with their arch-rivals having 111 to their name. The Men In Blue will look to go past Pakistan in this series and come into this clash on the back of some impressive performances against West Indies away from home where they clinched the four-match series 2-0.
In Ajinkya Rahane, Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, KL Rahul and skipper Virat Kohli, India have a number of match-winning players especially considering that they are playing at home while the spinners led by R Ashwin proved they are almost unplayable when there is turn and drift on offer.
Fast-bowler Ishant Sharma has been ruled out of the clash as he is recovering from mosquito-borne related illness chikungunya, which means that either Bhuvneshwar Kumar or Umesh Yadav will play in his place. With the pitch at Kanpur expected to produce turn, Kohli will go in with three spinners and it will be interesting to see if they stick to the five-bowler theory of late.
India have won the last nine encounters at home and are favourites to add to that tally come Thursday.
Their opponents, New Zealand come into this clash after losing their two-match Test series to South Africa 1-0. The Kiwis though would not be too concerned by the result, considering the conditions on offer at South Africa is very different to what they will face in India.
For all their improvement over the years, New Zealand are still ranked in seventh place with 95 points and will know that they have underperformed in the five-day game. A team consisting of Ross Taylor, Tom Latham, Martin Guptill, BJ Watling, Trent Boult, Tim Southee and skipper Kane Williamson should be doing better and will look at this series as a way towards their goal of moving up the rankings.
The Kiwis will be without premier pace-bowler Tim Southee who will miss the Test series after suffering from an ankle injury which means that either Doug Bracewell or Matt Henry will partner Boult with the new ball.
The visitors too are toying with the idea of playing three spinners and will look to improve upon their record in India, with their last win coming in 1988.
India to win
Betting Odds (ladbrokes)
- India to win: 8/13
- Draw: 7/4
- New Zealand to win: 8
Squad: Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shikhar Dhawan, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Amit Mishra, Mohammad Shami, Cheteshwar Pujara, Lokesh Rahul, Wriddhiman Saha (wk, Rohit Sharma, Murali Vijay, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma.
Squad: Kane Williamson (c), Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Mark Craig, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, James Neesham, Henry Nicholls, Luke Ronchi, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling (wk).