Other Sports Ishant Sharma out of India-New Zealand first Test

Ishant Sharma will not feature in India's first match against New Zealand having been laid low with chikungunya.

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India will be without Ishant Sharma for the first the three-Test series against New Zealand in Kanpur, which begins on Thursday, as he recovers from chikungunya.

The quick, who has taken 209 wickets in 72 Test matches, needs time to recover after being laid low with the mosquito-borne virus.

Ishant's fitness will be assessed ahead of the second Test at Eden Gardens on September 30, with no replacement selected.

Head coach Anil Kumble said: "Ishant Sharma is recovering from chikungunya and will not be available for the first Test match.

"We have not asked for any replacement and will choose our first XI from the available 14.

"We will be closely monitoring his progress with the doctors, and then we will take a call about his fitness after this Test."

The Black Caps made it to the semi-finals of the World Twenty20 on Indian soil in March and Kumble is wary of their strong spin attack, with Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi among the top wicket takers in that competition.

"I watched the two spinners out of the three in the [World T20] where they played a significant role in the progress for New Zealand," he said.

"We know that New Zealand is a very potent team, not just in the spin department but in their all-round abilities as well. They have all three variations: left-arm spinner, off-spinner and a leg-spinner. That's something that you don't see in a foreign team."

Furthermore, Kumble does not believe India's experience of playing in subcontinental conditions provides a significant advantage over touring sides, who are becoming increasingly familiar to them.

He added: "The challenges to adapt to these conditions as quickly as possible are the same for the home team as well.

"The home team certainly has the advantage of knowing and growing up in these conditions, but for a foreign team, since they travel so much, the conditions are no longer alien."

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