Team India will be bereft of some of its first-choice players when they take on New Zealand in a two-match Test series starting Thursday, November 25 in Kanpur. The two teams had clashed in the inaugural World Test Championship (WTC) final earlier this year, which the Black Caps won by eight wickets. This will be the two teams’ first meeting in the longest format since that meeting in Southampton, England.
The upcoming Test series against Kane Williamson and Co will also be India’s first Test series under new head coach Rahul Dravid. The newly-appointed head coach will take part in his first Test, with Ajinkya Rahane being the stand-in captain of the side in the absence of regular captain Virat Kohli. The team will hope to continue their winning run after sweeping the Kiwis 3-0 in the just concluded three-match T20I series.
Ahead of the first Test in Kanpur, both sides were busy with preparations and coach Dravid was seen supervising his wards in a training session at the Green Park Stadium. Surprisingly, the 48-year-old took over bowling duties in the nets and was seen trying a few off-spin deliveries.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) official Twitter account shared a short video of Dravid bowling right-arm off-spin to an Indian batter.
“That moment when Team India Head Coach Rahul Dravid rolled his arm over in the nets," read the caption along the video.
Watch it here:
— BCCI (@BCCI) November 24, 2021
Earlier, the new coach was seen supervising the practice along with Paras Mhambrey and batting coach Vikram Rathour. Stand-in skipper Rahane, Ravichandran Ashwin, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ravindra Jadeja among others attended the training session.
Apart from Kohli, who will join the team for the second Test scheduled in Mumbai, several first-choice players like opener Rohit Sharma, wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant, bowlers Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Shami have been rested and they will not be available for the Test series.