Kanpur: Host Indian cricket team will be looking for No.1 position in Test ranking when they will take on New Zealand team for their historical 500th match starting at Green Park stadium in Kanpur from Tomorrow.
Competition is mainly being viewed as a battle between the Kiwis batsmen and the spinners of Indian bowlers in conditions favouring the home team in the three-match series.
Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin will be leading the Indian bowling attack while Kiwi skipper Kane Williamson is the star batting attraction for the visitors.
The pitch of Kanpur’s Green Park stadium is promises to be a spin-friendly wicket and the Indian spinners will play a major role in the hosts’ to become the top team.
But rains can play spoil game as heavy downpour is forecast in the city’s next six-day weather reports.
Indian skipper Virat Kohli will have no hesitation in going with his spin trio-Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Amit Mishra.
On the other hand, the Kiwis had only played a warm-up game against Mumbai in Delhi. Injury in rib to all-rounder Jimmy Neesham has been ruled out of the first Test.
He is expected to be fit for the second Test, beginning on September 30 in Kolkata, hence New Zealand have opted not to name any replacements.
He picked up the injury during training last Thursday, and it had affected his participation in the warm-up fixture against Mumbai in Delhi.
The batting side of the New Zealand team did not step up to the occasion as Martin Guptill, one of their best batsmen in recent times, lasted a mere 21 balls in his two innings. The Mumbai batsmen dominated the practice match with three batsmen striking a century each in the first innings.
India will also be without their experienced Delhi pacer Ishant Sharma, who is recovering from the mosquito-borne viral infection chikungunya.
Virat Kohli speaking ahead of the match stressed on being positive and advised the players to handle the situation pro-actively.