India vs New Zealand 2nd Test Live Streaming and Score
There’s an air of expectancy and a sense of anticipation that the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) has unleashed ahead of the second Test between India and New Zealand. On the roads leading up to Eden Gardens, there are banners promoting this game as the 250th Test for India on home soil. They have also installed a new bell ala Lord’s, which will be rung on the first day by Kapil Dev. There are said to be coins minted for the occasion, and more such. It’s the first Test being played here after the demise of Jagmohan Dalmiya and there are tribute hoardings for him too, along the sidelines. Not much though, for Prabir Mukherjee, the long-serving curator at Eden Gardens, who too passed away in June.
It’s a new beginning of sorts, with the Test set to be played on a freshly laid surface. There hasn’t been a competitive match played here yet. It bears a tinge of green (not uncommon to Eden Gardens), and Virat Kohli, the India captain, expects it to be a good batting wicket. Normally these kind of pitches offer a little more for the fast bowlers as well, and New Zealand might just fancy their chances here a lot more, given their strength in the pace bowling department.
Now, you might be right in thinking that this could lead to a change of combination for India as well. Remember, Ravichandran Ashwin had indicated even during the first Test that he had a corn on his spinning finger, and he didn’t bowl a single delivery in practice just a day prior to the start of the Test. Jayant Yadav is also part of the squad, but Kohli reckoned that Yadav was brought in more as an extra spinning option and not really as a cover for Ashwin.
Kohli also seemed keen on maintaining the combination that did well in the first Test. That means they might continue with six batsmen and four bowlers. One change though, will be forced due to injury to KL Rahul. And if the practice sessions are anything to go by, then Shikhar Dhawan is clearly ahead of Gautam Gambhir at the moment to fill the vacant spot.
There is a marked change in India’s thought process, with Kohli increasingly liking the idea of playing an extra batsman in home Tests. He mentioned that putting a big first-innings score can have a big impact on the opposition, and this change of thought might well be the influence of someone like Anil Kumble. Such a mentality gives Rohit Sharma a chance to play a Test again in a ground where he has scored big runs. The last time a Test was played here in 2013, he notched up a hundred that helped India win by a big margin against West Indies.
New Zealand too, haven’t had much time to recover from the loss in Kanpur. They opted for just one practice session between the Tests and are clearly more focussed on keeping the mental side of things fresh, and that means some cooling off period for rest and recovery.
The period though, might not be an easy one for the team-management. They must have given a lot of thought to team combinations. The lacklustre performances of Martin Guptill and Ross Taylor would’ve been high on that list. Jeetan Patel, who was picked after a successful County Championship season, might be in for an immediate selection. There are a lot of indications that Eden Gardens might be New Zealand’s best bet to do well on this tour.
If the fresh pitch does assist seamers, then they will feel more at home in Kolkata than anywhere else. There has been a bit of rain around in the days leading up to the Test in Eden Gardens as well. And if forecast is to be believed, there might be more of the same in the coming days. Even a heavy cloud covering might assist their cause if there is swing around.
Another major concern could be the availability of Kane Williamson, who is down with a bug. He didn’t practice on the eve of the match but Tom Latham, who addressed the press, reckoned that the captain should be available for the game.
It is likely that India won’t tinker around too much with their combination and it is equally likely that New Zealand might be forced to. With India having a 1-0 lead, New Zealand will have to do all the running now but they’ll believe things can go their way if they start by winning the toss.
India (From): Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Gautam Gambhir, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli(c), Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Ravichandran Ashwin, Wriddhiman Saha(w), Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Amit Mishra, Jayant Yadav
New Zealand (From): Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, Kane Williamson(c), Ross Taylor, Luke Ronchi, Mitchell Santner, BJ Watling(w), Jeetan Patel, Ish Sodhi, Trent Boult, Neil Wagner, Doug Bracewell, James Neesham, Henry Nicholls, Matt Henry