New Zealand welcome India to Wellington this week in the first of two Test matches between the sides.
It’s already been a busy year for the pair, who have met in five T20 matches and three ODI games in 2020.
And it was certainly a tale of two halves for the teams. India cruised to a series whitewash in the T20 meetings. But New Zealand then recorded a whitewash of their own in the ODI encounters.
The latest fixtures therefore provides both with the ideal opportunity to win the overall bragging rights, given this is the last time the two will come together in any format of the game for another couple of months at least.
The hosts will certainly be hopeful they can compete much better than they did in the recent T20 series, having lost by six wickets and seven wickets in the first two matches respectively. They will also be hoping for more luck this time around, with the following two games resulting in Super Over losses, before a final narrow seven run loss.
New Zealand then recovered with four and five wicket wins in the ODI games. They also came out on top in a much more competitive 22-run victory.
India sit top of the Test team rankings heading into the game, with their opponents three spots behind them in fourth.
The visitors are, therefore, favourites going into the first fixture. They are currently 11/10 to win the game, with New Zealand available at 8/5.
A draw is currently 7/2.
And the Test player rankings are also dominated by the away side, with Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane all within the top ten for their batting displays in recent matches.
Kane Williamson is New Zealand’s sole representative, with Neil Wagner the nation’s only player in the top ten Test bowling rankings.
That leaderboard is once again dominated by India. Jasprit Bumrah, Ravichandran Ashwin and Mohammad Shami are all within the top ten for bowling.
And it’s a similar story in the Test all-rounder rankings. Ravindra Jadeja and Ashwin outnumber New Zealand’s Colin de Grandhomme in the top ten.
It’s currently 5/2 for Williamson to top score with the bat for the hosts in the first innings.
Ross Taylor is 3/1 to be their best batsman, with Tom Latham and Tom Blundell both available at 4/1.
It’s 11/4 for either Kohli or Pujara to star for India with the bat at their first attempt. And Mayank Agarwal is currently 4/1 to do the same and be their top batsman.
New Zealand’s B.J. Watling is currently 33/1 to pick up the man of the match award. And his team-mate Ajaz Patel is available at 25/1.
The first Test takes place on February 20-25 at Basin Reserve. And the second then gets underway on February 28 at Hagley Oval in Christchurch.
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