India vs New Zealand: Lethal pacers, art of attrition - 3 big takeaways for India after drawn warm-up clash
Barring the first hour of the match, the Indian management will be fairly happy with the preparations and with the additional boost of Ishant Sharma, the side will be confident heading into the first Test match.Updated: Feb 16, 2020, 10:43 IST
After a dismal performance in the first innings, the Indian openers Mayank Agarwal and Prithvi Shaw found form in the second dig as the warm-up match against New Zealand XI ended in a draw. Barring the first hour of the match, the Indian management will be fairly happy with the preparations and with the additional boost of Ishant Sharma, the side will be confident heading into the first Test match.
Here in this article, we take a look at the 3 big takeaways from the practice match for India:
Bumrah, Shami and wickets
The pitch was green and spicy on the first morning and India were reduced to 5 for 3. However, as the day progressed, the surface flattened out and this made batting easy. The conditions were far more favourable for the batsmen even on day 2, but this is when the class of Shami and Bumrah came to the fore. While Bumrah got disconcerting bounce from back of a good length, Shami landed the ball on a perfect length and got it to jag either ways. They combined to pick up 5 wickets and look to be in great nick leading in to the first Test match. They might also have the assistance of Ishant Sharma and well, this bowling combination looks formidable on any surface.
Vihari, Pujara and the art of attrition
India were gasping at 5 for 3 and then were further reduced to 28 for 4 when Hanuma Vihari joined Cheteshwar Pujara out in the middle on day 1. The pitch was green, it had moisture and this is where both Vihari and Pujara brought out their defensive game. Assured leaves outside the off stump, playing close to their bodies and putting away the flashy strokes - they bailed India out of trouble and as the conditions eased, they found their range and increased the pace of scoring. Vihari notched up a ton while Pujara was dismissed for 93, but it was a display of proper Test cricket batting.
Mayank finds his range
Mayank Agarwal’s series of scores on this tour read 8, 32, 29, 37, 24, 0, 0, 32, 3, 1, 1. There were few furrowed eyebrows in the dressing room, but he hit his stride in the second innings with a fluent 81 which will calm down his nerves and relax the management. He looked to be in better shape in the second dig and while the test will be sterner against Trent Boult and Tim Southee, he now has a score to give him confidence.
“It’s been a little different playing here but I want to leave all that behind. Whatever has happened has happened. Yes, I got an 81 in the second innings of this practice game and I want to take this confidence forward into the Test match,” he said after the match.