The T20I series was a clean sweep in favour of India while the home side New Zealand returned the compliment in the ODI series by winning it 3-0. It’s time for the cricketing white uniform and red ball to come out as the two sides are set to play a two-Test series that starts on 21st February at Wellington.
New Zealand have been playing some very good cricket at home in this format while India haven't lost a Test since the World Test championship was introduced. So it is expected to be a pulsating contest albeit only for two matches.
There are always many mini battles within a big one that will impact the overall result in the end. Let us look at the key match-ups in the forthcoming Test series between the 5th ranked New Zealand and 1st ranked India.
#1 Virat Kohli vs Trent Boult
One of the best batsman of all time, Virat Kohli is surprisingly having a quiet time on this tour so far. The Indian captain has scored only one fifty in the 5 T20Is and 3 ODIs which is a very poor return for the standards that he sets for himself.
The Tests could be the time India would want their skipper to stand up and score big runs because the in-form batsmen in the limited overs series, KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer are not in the squad. So it is upto Virat Kohli to anchor the batting along with Test specialists Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, and Hanuma Vihari.
Also see – Indian Premier League 2020 schedule
Kohli’s battle against the left arm pace of Trent Boult, who is coming back from an injury could be a very good one for the purists. If Trent Boult gets to swing the ball back into the right hander, it could be a real test for the Indian run machine.
However New Zealand would hope that they get early wickets in order to bring Kohli to the wicket while the ball is still new and swinging.