Some of the New Zealand players, who are part of the Test squad, had their first training session at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur on Saturday.
While most members of the New Zealand T20I squad are currently in Dubai for Sunday’s T20 World Cup final, key players – Ross Taylor, Tom Latham, Neil Wagner, Will Somerville, Ajaz Patel, Rachin Ravindra, Henry Nicholls, Tom Blundell and William Young – sweated it out at the nets for a while to get match ready.
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The two-match Test series will begin on November 25, with Kanpur hosting the first game. The Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai will host the second fixture between December 3 and 7.
India’s support staff, players in mandatory quarantine
Meanwhile, the Indian team has reached Jaipur for the first T20I, to be played on Wednesday. While the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is yet to formally announce the support staff, several sources have indicated that Vikram Rathour has been re-appointed as the batting coach, while T Dilip and Paras Mhambrey have taken charge as fielding and bowling coach respectively. “All the support staff have reached Jaipur on Friday and are currently under mandatory quarantine,” a source said.
Members of the New Zealand team during a training session in Jaipur on Saturday. – Special Arrangement
With Ravi Shastri’s tenure as the head coach coming to an end after the T20 World Cup, the BCCI had named Rahul Dravid as the head coach of the senior men’s team last week. And after completing the interview process, as per the BCCI constitution, the national selection committee, headed by Chetan Sharma, selected Mhambrey, Rathour and Dilip as the new support staff. Mhambrey and Dilip have worked closely with Dravid during his stints with the NCA.
The team is expected to train on Monday after completing the mandatory three-day quarantine.
RCA expects a full house
With the Sawai Mansingh Stadium hosting an international cricket after eight years – the last was the India vs Australia ODI in 2013 – the Rajasthan Cricket Association has allowed 100 per cent crowd capacity for the first T20I and the association is expecting a full house. While several sources have indicated that all tickets are sold out, the association is also keeping a system in place to ensure that the COVID protocols are maintained. The spectators are expected to have taken at least one shot of vaccine, those who are not jabbed will have to carry a valid COVID negative test report which is not older than 48 hours from the start of the match.
The stadium has a capacity of 25000 and there will be no entry into the stadium without masks.