India won the toss and opted to bat against New Zealand in the first Test of the two-match series here at the Green Park Stadium on Thursday.
In the first Test, Ajinkya Rahane will be leading the side in regular skipper Virat Kohli's absence and with Rahul now missing, it will be all about Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara rising to the challenge in the middle-order.
Speaking at the toss, Rahane said, "Looking to bat first. Pitch looks really good. Generally slows down later on here. Shreyas is making his debut. We are all excited to play under the new coaching staff. I personally enjoy playing under Rahul bhai. New Zealand are a quality side. 3 spinners, 2 seamers."
For India, Shreyas Iyer has made his Test debut and will be looking to make a mark in the first game of longer format.
The right-handed batter received his maiden Test cap from the legendary cricketer Sunil Gavaskar.
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