India opt to bat against New Zealand in Kolkata

Kolkata: New Zealand captain Kane Williamson has been ruled out of the second cricket Test against India starting later on Friday in Kolkata with a virus, New Zealand Cricket said.

However, it is serious business for Virat Kohli & Co. "Would have been hard for him to play in this kind of heat", said Taylor. Whether we have to draw a Test or play a session out, I'm sure he will develop that skill. During the World Twenty20, he had shown his capability to adapt to the Indian conditions well.

New Zealand will be tempted to play Luke Ronchi higher-up the batting order.

At the net session on Thursday, India used a odd approach, with Ravindra Jadeja and Wriddhiman Saha having a hit first up, instead of the more traditional method of giving the openers and the top order first go.

They have begun a packed 13-Test home calendar by inflicting a massive 197-run defeat over the visiting Black Caps in their 500th Test.

Allrounder Jimmy Neesham may make a comeback if he is fit enough to play. Fast bowler Matt Henry has also been brought in and Henry Nicholls has been called up to fill the Williamson-shaped hole. The 36-year-old is likely to partner the impressive left-arm orthodox spinner Mitchell Santner and leg-spinner Ish Sodhi.

Hello and welcome to our Live Coverage of the Day 1 of the second Test between India and New Zealand in Kolkata.

India were briefly on top of the rankings during their tour of the West Indies. Whenever the Kiwi batsmen looked defiant, the deadly spin duo of R. Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja seemed clueless. There are five left-handers in their batting so we thought about adding an extra offspinner. The inclusion of off-spinner Jayant Yadav provides more options. If you look at the Test team two years back and now, the way we are playing, it's easy to get carried away. This is the first match of the season on this wicket.

Ashwin remains comfortably atop the all-rounders table.

Either Mukund or Gambhir, based on their fitness test reports, were to join the Indian team in Kolkata. By the time he took stance in the pacers' net, Mohammed Shami, Wriddhiman Saha and Bhuvneshwar Kumar had retired for the day.

Former captain Ross Taylor will lead the side at Eden Gardens instead.

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