As New Zealand was summoned to bowl in the first Test against India in Kanpur, Wellington Firebirds all-rounder Rachin Ravindra became the youngest New Zealand Test debutant since Ish Sodhi (Bangladesh, 2013). The 22-year-old will bat at number seven in a spin-heavy attack that also includes Ajaz Patel, Will Somerville, and pacemen Tim Southee and Kyle Jamieson. Tom Blundell, a Firebirds teammate who has taken up the Test wicket-keeping gloves after BJ Watling’s retirement, presented Ravindra with his Test cap.

In the absence of Devon Conway, Will Young will start the batting. The BLACKCAPS are playing their debut match in the new ICC World Test Championship cycle. In the first Test, Ajinkya Rahane will lead India in the absence of usual skipper Virat Kohli, and with KL Rahul now out, the middle-order battle will be between Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara.

In other news, Ravichandran Ashwin, India’s off-spinner, is on the verge of achieving yet another milestone in Test cricket. With the first Test of a two-match Test series against New Zealand scheduled to begin on Thursday, November 25 in Kanpur, Ashwin might overtake Harbhajan Singh as India’s third-highest wicket-taker in the longest version of the game. He’s only five wickets behind Harbhajan in the elite list. With 417 wickets, Harbhajan Singh is India’s third-highest wicket-taker, after Anil Kumble (632) and Kapil Dev (434).

Meanwhile, Ashwin is India’s fourth-highest wicket-taker in the longest format of the game, with 413 wickets. Ashwin has a strong home record and is expected to overtake Harbhajan in the rankings. Ashwin also needs one more 10-wicket haul to tie Anil Kumble for the most 10-fers by an Indian bowler. In the longest format, he has seven 10-wicket hauls against Kumble’s eight. Muttiah Muralitharan of Sri Lanka tops the list with 22 10-wicket hauls in Test cricket.

India Playing XI: Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane(c), Shreyas Iyer, Wriddhiman Saha(w), Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav

New Zealand Playing XI: Kane Williamson (capt), Tom Blundell, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Rachin Ravindra, Will Somerville, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Will Young