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Coverage Details & Time:
- Test Match: NZ vs IND, 2nd Test, India tour of New Zealand, 2020
- Date: Friday, February 28, 2020 – Wednesday, March 04, 2020
- Location: Hagley Oval, Christchurch, New Zealand
- Start time: 05:30 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPN+
Hagley Park is nearly as big if not bigger than all of Christchurch. On its vast expanse, sit the city’s botanical gardens, a museum, a college and also the helipad for the biggest hospital in town. And it’s difficult to not spot the Park from anywhere you go within the central part of the city. It also houses, since 2014, the home of international cricket in Christchurch.
The Hagley Oval itself though has an interesting history, and a rather lengthy one. As Canterbury and Christchurch legend Richard Hadlee puts it, there was a time the ground wasn’t covered by an embankment and they would play nearly 6 matches at any given time around what is now the Oval. So it basically was Christchurch’s answer to the maidans of Mumbai, just a little more scenic owing to the lovely village green like the feel and the rather lush landscape.
Like with any other public property in this part of the world, the Oval had to endure a lot of protests and legal tangles when it wanted to close off a popular section of it, in a way, even if only temporarily for the cricket.
But today it sits as not only the largest playing area in the country but also a unique one considering the only structure of note at the ground is the pavilion area. The rest, including the pitch itself, is just green.
It’s as alien a setting as the Indian team can imagine for a Test match anywhere in the world. Used to playing in front of massive stadiums – even if not full ones for Tests – back home, this must feel like some sort of throwback to some of the Indians.
It’s the openness and sort of quaintness of the ground, many locals believe, that has kept the Indians away in the first place. This will, after all, be the first time the Black Caps are hosting them at the Hagley Oval in any format, which considering how much cricket India plays overseas sounds surprising as it is.
Not a bad place though for India to redeem themselves after what’s been a stunning turnaround during a tour that started with unprecedented success. India hasn’t won a match since the first week of February. And with the prospect of winning the series gone, this game will be all about Test championship points for India. Not to forget some pride.
NZ v IND Possible XI:
NZ Probable XI: Martin Guptill, Henry Nicholls, Ross Taylor, Tom Latham (c) (wk), Mark Chapman; Jimmy Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi; Tim Southee, Scott Kuggeleijn, Hamish Bennett
IND Probable XI: Prithvi Shaw, Mayank Agarwal, Virat Kohli (c), Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (wk); Manish Pandey/Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja; Mohammed Shami, Kuldeep Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Jasprit Bumrah