Team India opener Mayank Agarwal has admitted that he made a genuine effort to attack New Zealand’s left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel because he knew he couldn’t allow the bowler to settle in. Agarwal was India’s star performer on Day 1 of the Mumbai Test. He notched up his fourth Test hundred and was unbeaten on 120 when stumps were called on a weather-hit day, which saw only 70 overs being completed.
Team India skipper Virat Kohli will be back to captain the team when the second Test of the two-match series against New Zealand begins at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Friday. Kohli was rested for the three-match T20I series as well as the first Test in Kanpur. While Kohli will be back for the Mumbai Test, he stressed on the importance of mental break for cricketers in COVID times.
Team India’s head coach Rahul Dravid admitted that the management would like veteran middle-order batter Ajinkya Rahane to score more runs. At the same time, he asserted, like Cheteshwar Pujara at the start of the Kanpur Test, that Rahane is only one match away from finding form again.
Despite yet another failure for Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane in the Kanpur Test, Team India’s batting coach Vikram Rathour backed both the veteran batters to come good in the future. Pujara was dismissed for contrasting 20s in both innings of the Test match against New Zealand while stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane registered scores of 35 and 4.
Indian left-arm spinner Axar Patel, who claimed his fifth five-wicket haul in his fourth Test on Saturday, said that he has never seen himself as white-ball specialist. Axar claimed 5 for 62 on Day 3 of the Kanpur Test against New Zealand to bring India right back into the contest.
Indian batter Shreyas Iyer has admitted that he did not know he would be making his Test debut when the team arrived in Kanpur. Iyer said that it was a challenge as well as an opportunity for him to make his Test debut in the 1st Test against New Zealand. The 26-year-old sizzled with 105 off 171 balls as India posted 345 runs in their first innings. The Kiwis made a brilliant start in response, reaching 129 for no loss by stumps.
New Zealand pacer Kyle Jamieson, who starred for the team with three wickets on Day 1 of the Kanpur Test against India, said that him and Tim Southee enjoyed bowling early on since there was some movement and things seemed familiar. New Zealand have pitches back home that offer plenty of seam and swing and Jamieson was pleased to discover some assistance in Kanpur.
Team India’s stand-in captain for the first Test, Ajinkya Rahane has admitted that KL Rahul being ruled out of the Test series against New Zealand due to injury has been a big blow. He, however, expressed confidence the youngsters in the team will rise to the occasion. Apart from Rahul, Virat Kohli has been rested for the first Test while Rohit Sharma and Rishabh Pant will miss both the Tests.
Indian batter Cheteshwar Pujara has stated that Rahul Dravid coming in as coach of the Indian team will help not only the younger players but senior players like him as well. It is no secret that Pujara has modelled his game on Dravid. In fact, he took over the No. 3 spot in India’s Test team following Dravid’s retirement.