February 29: 2nd Test - New Zealand v India, Christchurch

Our XI: Mayank Agarwal, Tom Latham, Virat Kohli, Kane Williamson, Rishabh Pant, Colin de Grandhomme, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Neil Wagner, Tim Southee, Trent Boult

Captain: Neil Wagner

Wagner will want to make up for missing out on the first Test as he was away on paternity leave. The left-arm seamer has dismissed Virat Kohli three times in six Test innings, while also collecting a wicket every 20 runs in his last five Tests. He will be raring to go after the break.

Vice-captain: Kane Williamson

His 89 was the cornerstone of New Zealand's first innings in the first Test against India, and he will have the same role in the second Test as well. He enjoys facing the Indian pace attack, having scored three fifty-plus scores in his last five innings against them. But Christchurch has not been a great venue for him in the recent past, with just 72 runs in his last four innings here, and he'll be looking to fix that record.

Hot Picks

Mohammed Shami: He will attack, look for wickets, as he always does, but that mode of operation didn't really work too well for him in the first Test. He is a bowler at the peak of his abilities, though, as 31 wickets in seven Tests prior to Wellington in the past 12 months prove, and if he can get the old ball to reverse, he could be more than a handful.

Tom Latham: The New Zealand opener is in need of a solid innings, and will look to reverse a string of low scores in Christchurch. He will be especially dangerous in New Zealand's second innings when the pitch settles into a batting surface.

Mayank Agarwal: The India opener has an initial flaw, of going front and across against the swinging ball, which makes him susceptible to lbws, but as Agarwal's innings progresses, the smoother his stroke-making gets. He has a penchant for scoring big runs, and after two decent innings in the first Test, he has a good chance of kicking on this time.

Value Picks

Colin de Grandhomme: He bats with more responsibility than he used to, and it was on display in the first Test, when he combined with the lower order to lift them to a good first-innings total. With the ball, his ability to generate swing and break partnerships gives him an extra edge.

Rishabh Pant: Having a wicketkeeper in SENA countries always helps in terms of earning points, especially with high bounce and a quick deck offering plenty of nicks. Pant has two overseas centuries in the ten Tests he's played outside India, the most among any Indian wicketkeeper in Test history.

Points to note

  • In the last three Tests here, teams winning the toss have bowled first, winning the game on every occasion.

  • Seamers have taken 90% of all the wickets to fall in the last five Tests.