After a 4-0 sweep in the one-day internationals, New Zealand will be brimming with confidence as they head into a two-match Test series against India, starting on Thursday.

 

What: New Zealand vs. India, first Test

Venue:  Eden Park, Auckland

When: Tuesday, Feb. 6-10

Start time: 10 p.m. GMT/11 a.m. local time

Live on: Sky Sport NZ, Sky Sports 3 UK

Weather: Accuweather doesn't have the best forecast. There's rain predicted all through the Test match, although there's also a bit of sunshine around. How much time is taken out of the Test remains to be seen, but coping with the delays will be a factor for both teams.

 

Overview

New Zealand and India will begin the first of two Tests starting on Thursday and the hosts will almost certainly be the more confident of the two sides. New Zealand crushed India in the ODI series, and they are also fresh off a 2-0 Test series victory over the West Indies. 

Historically, though, those results are a significant improvement after some struggles in the Test arena. In the last two years, the Black Caps have won just three out of the 21 Tests they have played. 

India have a much better record, having won nine out of 14, but they have just been beaten away from home by South Africa. Those are the only two away games India have played in that period and overall, they do not travel very well. India last won a Test series away from home in 2011 when they travelled to the West Indies, and they suffered famous 4-0 defeats in both England and Australia. That record might be a quiet boost for the Black Caps, who are a team on the up.

Some of India's stars featured in a drawn tour match, but the top order of Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan couldn't do much against a group of relatively unknown bowlers. Neither managed more than 30 and only two players, Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane, scored more than 50.

Test match intensity is, of course, much different compared to all the other cricket India have played over the last few weeks and with plenty of rain about, both sides will have to think carefully about their strategy, especially if pushing for the win is the end goal.

Eden Park is traditionally slow and in favour of the spin bowlers, something which India will relish. The last game played there saw New Zealand draw against England with just one of the opposition players managing a hundred. 

Expect a frustrating Test with a number of possible delays and a draw the most likely result.

 

Hi-res-f30d5e0ee3ec3279937a16321eb342d9_crop_exact A.M.Ahad/Associated Press

Key players 

New Zealand

Corey Anderson has already shown that he has got what it takes in the one-day game and has notched up a hundred in Test cricket already. Time in the Test will be shortened due to the likely rain and if Anderson can adapt his game to play a brisk knock, it will serve New Zealand very well. 

India

Ravi Jadeja is not only a handy bowler, but he's also more than apt with the bat. He was handy in the one-day series and although it's not yet certain whether he will play in the Test, if he gets the nod, he will have a massive role to play overall.

 

Squads

New Zealand

Brendon McCullum (captain), Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Peter Fulton, Hamish Rutherford, Jesse Ryder, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling, Kane Williamson

India

Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain/wk), Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja, Zaheer Khan, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Ambati Rayudu, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Wriddhiman Saha, Ishwar Pandey

Statistics and squads from Cricinfo