Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - Mayank Agarwal ton nudges India ahead after Ajaz Patel show. Mayank hit his fourth Test century.
Mayank hit his fourth Test century.
Mayank Agarwal's fourth Test ton helped Indian end the opening day of the second Test in Mumbai on 221 for 4. Ajaz Patel bagged four wickets and was the star of the day for New Zealand where barring Tim Southee, all other bowlers struggled to create any pressure.
After a slow start in the morning where damp patches ensured there was no play possible in the opening session, India chose to bat first after making three changes. For the opening two hours of the Test, India bossed proceedings as the openers put on a solid show. Shubman Gill picked three boundaries in the second over by Kyle Jamieson as India scored 20 in the opening four overs. Southee managed things tight but Tom Latham was forced to take Jamieson out after the first six.
The introduction of Ajaz not only brought control but also helped teams get a good idea of how the surface is going to behave as the Test goes on. The India openers brought up the half-century stand in the 19th over as Will Somerville struggled to create any impact.
Things, however, dramatically changed in the 28th over. Gill had struck Somerville for two fours in the previous over and was looking to take on the spinners. He was caught at first slip as Ajaz soon left India shaking. The hosts went from 80 for no loss to 80 for 3 with both Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli bagging ducks. Pujara came down the track and missed the full ball to be bowled for a five-ball duck.
Kohli's dismissal proved to be even more dramatic. Adjudged lbw, the India captain decided to challenge the call. After several replays, the third umpire – Virender Sharma – failed to find any conclusive evidence that Kohli had hit the ball before it brushed the pad. He then went on to tell the on-field umpire – Anil Chaudhary – to stick with his original decision, only to be reminded that he forgot to check ball-tracking. The replay showed three reds and India not only lost the review butm in the space of four balls, two big wickets as well.
There was another brief counter before the break as Mayank put Ajaz under pressure with a six and a four to get the runs flowing again. Southee leaked four byes and then was driven by Shreyas Iyer past cover in the 33rd to leak 10. Ajaz leaked another boundary before Mayank brought up his half-century in the final over before Tea to give India the nudge ahead after a shaky period.
In the 45-minute period after Tea, New Zealand completely lost the plot and were once again left needing a bit of magic. Runs flowed as Mayank kicked on and put the bowlers under pressure. Ajaz struck once again – with the wicket of Iyer – to reduce India to 160 for 4. Mayank got to his century with a boundary against Daryl Mitchell in the 59th over and ensured India were able to kick on despite losing wicket.
The highlight of Mayank's innings was how well he dealt with Ajaz's threat. Take the period post the three wickets for instance. Even though India were under pressure, Mayank came down the track and lofted the left-arm spinner over long-off. He then slapped the next delivery to the square leg fence to ensure Ajaz was hit off his length. All three sixes Mayank hit were over long-off while there was an array of boundaries past cover as he countered the spin on offer with ease.
India did well to end the day on a strong note with Wriddhiman Saha getting a half-century stand with Mayank and add to the worries of already depleted confidence of the New Zealand bowling line-up.
Brief scores: India 221/4 (Mayank Agarwal 120*; Ajaz Patel 4-73) vs New Zealand.