Match: India v New Zealand
Date: 30 September, Friday to 4 October, Tuesday
Time: 12pm SGT/9:30am IST/5am BST
Venue: Eden Gardens, Kolkata
TV Channel: In Singapore, the live coverage of the 2nd Test match between India and New Zealand will be on Star Cricket.
India play New Zealand in the second Test of three-match series at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata from 30 September.
The hosts sealed a 1-0 lead in the series after outclassing New Zealand by 197 runs in the first Test. The tourists, despite coming up with a solid show in their tour game against Mumbai Ranji Trophy team, failed the spin test at the Green Park stadium in Kanpur.
The spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja hunted in pairs, once again and made sure India celebrated their landmark 500th Test with a win.
After winning the toss and opting to bat, India put 318 first-innings runs on the board. In reply, New Zealand looked solid with a 124-run second-wicket between opener Tom Latham and captain Kane Williamson but lost their way when they gave away their last five wickets for seven runs. A strong batting effort from Virat Kohli's men coupled with Ashwin's six-for in the second innings boxed the Black Caps out of the contest.
Williamson's men had no answers to India's spin attack on a good cricketing wicket that favoured the spinners in the first Test. Seasoned opener Martin Guptill was made to look like a rookie and their tail failed to wag, which made the crucial difference when it came to the first-innings deficit.
Eden Gardens, despite having a freshly laid track, will prove to be no different. The pitch is expected to have some moisture as it is the first match of the season at the venue. Cricket Association of Bengal president Sourav Ganguly said the track's assistance to spin will depend on the amount of sunshine the turf gets during the course of the game.
With predictions of rain and thunderstorm, the visitors might not have to face the full wrath of the Indian spinners in Kolkata.
New Zealand will be tempted to play Luke Ronchi higher-up the batting order. The 35-year-old wicketkeeper batsman impressed with a century after being promoted to open the batting in the final innings of the visitors' tour game against Mumbai and top-scored for the visitors in the second innings in Kanpur.
Known for their fighting spirit, Williamson and his batting unit will look to capitalise on crucial moments and come up with a better show with at the Eden Gardens. Ross Taylor, who grabbed a duck and 17 in the first Test, will have to step up and provide support in the middle order against in-form Ashwin and Jadeja.
In the bowling department, New Zealand will be without Mark Craig, who has been ruled out of the ongoing series due to a side strain. Off-spinner Jeetan Patel is likely to join the spin battery that consists left-armer Mitchell Santner and leg-spinner Ish Sodhi.
Patel's inclusion could give New Zealand an extra batting option as the 36-year-old has been in good form both with the bat and the ball in his stint with Warwickshire in the County Championship in 2016.
Meanwhile, India would have loved to go in with an unchanged unit for the Eden Test but lost Lokesh Rahul to a hamstring injury. The hosts have replaced the right-handed opener with Gautam Gambhir in the squad. However, it remains to be seen whether the 34-year-old will get the nod ahead of Shikhar Dhawan, who was dropped for the Kanpur clash.
Dhawan had a long net session on Wednesday and was seen training with batting coach Sanjay Bangar and head coach Anil Kumble after the end of the fifth day's play in Kanpur, according to ESPNCricinfo.
Skipper Kohli, who had a disappointing outing with the bat in the first Test, would want to get back to his best soon. With the series at stake, New Zealand will have to put in their best to challenge the well-settled Indian unit, which will look to go for the kill at the Eden Gardens.
Singapore: Star Cricket
India: Star Sports 1, Star Sports 3
New Zealand: Sky Sports 3
UK: Sky Sports
USA: Willow TV
Possible XI: Virat Kohli (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Umesh Yadav, Mohammad Shami
Possible XI: Kane Williamson (c), Tom Latham, Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor, Luke Ronchi, Mitchell Santner, BJ Watling (wk), Jeetan Patel, Ish Sodhi, Trent Boult, Neil Wagner