New Zealand v India 1st Test tips, odds update, February 21
New Zealand play India in the first cricket Test at the Basin Reserve, Wellington, starting on Friday, and we are tipping the Kiwis to end India’s run of Test successes.
We see the Kiwis as great value. Yes they were crushed in Australia 3-0 in their most recent Test series but before that they beat a strong England team 1-0 at home in a two-Test series and their home record of late is hard to dismiss.
Of course, it’s also hard to tip against an India team ranked No.1 and which has won all seven of its Test matches under the World Test Championship format.
But those wins came at home against South Africa (3-0) and Bangladesh (2-0) and away against the West Indies (2-0).
The Kiwis’ record at home under captain Kane Williamson is phenomenal. In 17 Tests since Williamson took over from Brendon McCullum, they have lost just once, against South Africa.
A note of caution: In the past 15 Tests between the countries, New Zealand have won just one, with India winning seven and seven draws.
In this match veteran batsman Ross Taylor becomes only the fourth Kiwi to play 100 Test matches and he’s never been in better form.
What to expect at the Basin Reserve, Wellington
The early forecast is for cool conditions with some chance of rain on the opening two days.
New Zealand have played India sevens times in Tests at the ground, with the Kiwis leading 4-1 with the two most recent Tests ending in draws. India’s sole Test win at the Basin Reserve came in 1968!
The last time these teams met at this ground Brendon McCullum made an epic 302. McCullum and BJ Watling (124) came together with NZ on the ropes in the second innings at 5-94 and put on 352. Virat Kohli also added a century in India’s second dig as the match ended in a draw.
From the past 12 matches at the ground against all opposition, New Zealand have wins, there have been five draws, with losses against South Africa and Australia.
NZ v India Test cricket team news
Left-arm spearhead Trent Boult will return to action after suffering a broken hand against Australia to join other Test mainstays Neil Wagner and Tim Southee in a strong pace attack.
Wagner has quietly made his way to second on the ICC Test bowler rankings behind only Australian star Patrick Cummins.
Ajaz Patel has been preferred for the spinning spot ahead of left-armer Mitchell Santner, who had a dismal time of it in Australia as the Kiwis were thrashed 3-0.
Towering paceman Kyle Jamieson is in line for his Test debut after impressing during the ODI series won 3-0 by the Black Caps.
At the time of writing the Indian XI had not been finalised with the most intriguing question being who they would pick as keeper. The dashing batsman Rishabh Pant or the superior gloveman Wriddhiman Saha, with the latter expected to get the nod.
Read on for our New Zealand v India tips and odds update for the opening Test at the Basin Reserve, Wellington, on Friday, February 21.
New Zealand-India Test series schedule
Friday, February 21-Tuesday, February 25: 1st Test, Basin Reserve, Wellington, 11.30am
Saturday, February 29-Wednesday, March 4: 2nd Test, Hagley Oval, Christchurch, 11.30am
Squads for NZ-India Test matches
Kane Williamson (captain), Tom Latham, Tom Blundell, Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling, Colin de Grandhomme, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Trent Boult, Ajaz Patel, Kyle Jamieson, Daryl Mitchell.
Virat Kohli (captain), Mayank Agarwal, Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Shubman Gill, Ravindra Jadeja, Rishabh Pant (wk), Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Wriddhiman Saha, Navdeep Saini, Mohammad Shami, Ishant Sharma, Prithvi Shaw, Hanuma Vihari, Umesh Yadav.
NZ v India 1st Test odds
Head to head odds: New Zealand $2.52, India $2.18, draw $4.60
Match winner (draw no bet): New Zealand $2.03, $1.75
Top batsman New Zealand first innings:
$3.50 Kane Williamson
$4.50 Tom Latham, Ross Taylor
$5.50 Tom Blundell
$6.00 Henry Nicholls
$11.00 BJ Watling
Top batsman India first innings:
$3.00 Virat Kohli
$4.25 Cheteshwar Pujara
$5.00 Mayank Agarwal
$5.50 Shubman Gill, Prithvi Shaw
$6.50 Ajinkya Rahane
$9.00 Hanuma Vihari
Top bowler NZ first innings:
$3.25 Trent Boult
$3.50 Neil Wagner
$4.00 Tim Southee
$5.50 Kyle Jamieson, Ajaz Patel
$7 Colin de Grandhomme
Top bowler India NZ first innings:
$3.00 Jasprit Bumrah
$4.00 Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami
$4.50 Ravichandran Ashwin
$5.50 Ravindra Jadeja, Umesh Yadav
$6.50 Navdeep Saini
* Full odds available at Betway.com.
NZ v India 1st Test betting tips
New Zealand to win at $2.52
According to the WGL cricket pundits, this is a great value bet. India, of course, are the top-ranked team in Test cricket but they were a little shaky in the three ODI matches won by the Kiwis. Captain Virat Kohli was not his usual imposing self at the crease, though maybe the return to red ball cricket will spark his best form. He is the No.1 batsman in Test cricket in the ICC rankings. His opposite number Kane Williamson is rated at No.4.
Neil Wagner leading 1st innings wicket taker for NZ
The leftie was just about the only Kiwi bowler to cause any problems for the Australian batsmen on the recent tour and his record is quite outstanding. He will appreciate having Trent Boult back in the line-up too, though that player will certainly be a little underdone. The Indians will not have seen a lot of Wagner, who like Mohammed Shami in the Indian line-up, has a knack of picking up wickets regularly.
New Zealand v India predictions – 1st Test, Feb 21, 2020
So why do we think New Zealand will win this match. Quite simply, it’s because their batsmen love playing at this ground and they look a lot more settled in their batting line-up than India. The tourists just don’t look the same without Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan at the top of the order, while the great Virat Kohli has not looked in great touch on this tour. Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson both average close to 65 at this ground, with Henry Nicholls averaging almost 60 and Tom Latham 55. Those are compelling numbers. Plus NZ regain their talismanic paceman Trent Boult. We expect a big win for the home team.
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