Virat Kohli on Friday returned to lead Team India in the second and the final Test of the 2-match series against New Zealand in Mumbai. He won the toss and opted to bat first against Tom Latham-led Black Caps at the iconic Wankhede Stadium.
Kohli, who had a broad smile on the face after winning the toss, spoke about the three forced changes made in the playing XI. Earlier, in the morning, the BCCI confirmed that the trio of Ishant Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja and Ajinkya Rahane were ruled out of the Mumbai Test owing to injuries. The skipper came in place of his deputy while Jayant Yadav and Mohammed Siraj replaced the other two.
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“We’re batting first. Looks like a hard wicket and not a lot of grass. With the sun out, it should be the best time to bat. Rahane had a hammie niggle on Day 5, Jadeja has a swollen right forearm, and Ishant has an injury too. We just have to do the basics right like in Kanpur. New Zealand must be given credit for batting out the overs on Day 5. We can be in positions to capitalize at home if we play well,” Kohli said after winning the toss.
New Zealand also faced a major blow on Friday morning after Kane Williamson was ruled out with a left-elbow injury. Latham stepped into the captain’s shoes and said they would also had batted first on the Wankhede track.
“We would’ve had a bat too. It’s been under covers for a few days, and so it might do a bit early. Unfortunate for Kane, his elbow is acting up again, but good chance for Mitchell. It might swing with the humidity here, and we will get assistance and given the pitch it will spin too. We did well after losing the toss in Kanpur and hopefully we can make use of the conditions here and pick up some early wickets,” said Latham.
Here are the playing XIs:
New Zealand: Tom Latham(c), Will Young, Daryl Mitchell, Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, Tom Blundell(w), Rachin Ravindra, Kyle Jamieson, Tim Southee, William Somerville, Ajaz Patel
India: Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli(c), Shreyas Iyer, Wriddhiman Saha(w), Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Jayant Yadav, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj