IND v NZ, 2nd Test: Virat Kohli opts to bat after winning the toss

Mumbai: India skipper Virat Kohli won the toss and decided the hosts will bat first in the second Test at the Wankhede Stadium here on Friday.

The skipper, who will be leading the side after taking a break in the first Test at Green Park, said Jayant Yadav will come in place of all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, who picked up a niggle during the Kanpur Test.

Kohli said the wicket looked really nice and hard to bat on, and with the sun coming out, the first innings would be the best time to bat.

“Looks like a really nice wicket, nice and hard early on and not much grass on it. Today, with the sun out, we presume the first innings is going to be the best time to bat. Jayant Yadav comes in for (Ravindra) Jadeja. We just have to do more of the basics that we did in Kanpur as well,” said Kohli.

“New Zealand did really well to stick out for a draw (in Kanpur). You have to accept when the opposition plays well. Knowing that we know that if we play good cricket at home we’ll be able to seize the opportunity,” added Kohli.

Earlier on Friday, BCCI issued a statement that pace bowler Ishant Sharma, vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane and all-rounder Ravendra Jadeja had been ruled out with niggles. This effectively meant that Kohli, pace bowler Mohammed Siraj and Jayant Yadav come in place of the injured trio.

The match is scheduled for a 12:00 noon start after the entire first session was lost in drying up the wet patches on the bowler’s run-up area.

New Zealand opener Tom Latham, who will be leading the side after a persistent elbow injury ruled Kane Williamson out of the Test, said, that he too would have opted to bat had he won the toss.

“We definitely would have had a bat. But it has been under covers for a few days so maybe we’ll get something out of it. The way we got the ball to swing in Kanpur was good; hopefully it swings here as well. Kanpur was really boosting for us, losing the toss and coming away with a draw at the last minute. We know this will be a different surface so important we try to adapt as quickly as we can. Daryl Mitchell in for Kane Williamson,” said Latham.

The first Test had ended in a draw.

Playing XIs:

India: Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (capt), Shreyas Iyer, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), R Ashwin, Jayant Yadav, Axar Patel, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj.

New Zealand: Will Young, Tom Latham (capt), Daryl Mitchell, Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, Tom Blundell (wk), Rachin Ravindra, Kyle Jamieson, Tim Southee, Will Somerville, Ajaz Patel.

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