Kohli declares Wriddhiman Saha fit for the second NZ test
MUMBAI: India's wicket keeper Wriddhiman Saha has recovered from a neck problem and is eligible for the second and final Test against New Zealand, captain Virat Kohli said on Thursday.
Saha was unable to wear the wicket keeper gloves on the last day of the first test in Kanpur due to a stiff neck with K.S. Bharat takes his place behind the stumps during the drawn test.
"Saha is fit now and has fully recovered from the neck niggle or spasm he suffered," Kohli told reporters ahead of Friday's Wankhede Stadium test. Kohli himself skipped the three-game Twenty20 series and the opening test against New Zealand to rest.
While Kohli's return will be a welcome boost to India's headlines, it will also leave them picking headaches. In Kohli's absence, Mumbai batsman Shreyas Iyer made a Dream Test debut with 105 in the first innings, followed by a decisive 65 in the second at Kanpur.
There are increasing calls to drop off either Ajinkya Rahane, who led India in Kanpur, or Cheteshwar Pujara - both of which have run out of races - to clear a seat for Kohli and allow Iyer to keep his seat. The rain in Mumbai, which is unusual for the season, has also meant that both teams have not been able to train outdoors since Wednesday and the weather conditions could affect the team selection, said Kohli.
“We will discuss our combination. The change in weather and conditions must be taken into account, ”he said, adding that he expected the pitch in Wankhede Stadium to have something for batsmen and bowlers. “But we also cannot assume that the weather will remain the same for the next five days. So we need a combination that can adapt to any change. "
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New Zealand has never won a test series in India since the 1988-89 tour, let alone a test match. The top-ranked Black Caps who beat India in a June competition in Southampton to win the first World Test Championship have a chance to make history with a win in Mumbai.
"We won a lot from our efforts at Kanpur [Test]," said Tim Southee, New Zealand's pace speech head. "We're just looking forward to a new challenge here in Mumbai."
INDIA: Virat Kohli (captain), Ajinkya Rahane, Suryakumar Yadav, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, Wriddhiman Saha, KS Bharat, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Jayant Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Prasidh Krishna
NEW ZEALAND: Kane Williamson, Tom Blundell, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Daryl Mitchell, Ajaz Patel, Glenn Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Mitchell Santner, Will Somerville, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Will Young, Neil Wagner.