Mayank Agarwal plays a sublime 'Natraj shot' during the practice match against New Zealand XI

Mayank Agarwal plays a sublime ‘Natraj shot’ during the practice match against New Zealand XI

The Indian opener, who has lately endured a rough patch ever since he landed in New Zealand, brought up a much-needed half-century.

Mayank Agarwal
Mayank Agarwal. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Team India rounded-off their three-day practice game against New Zealand XI on Sunday at Seddon Park in Hamilton with a pristine batting performance on the third and final after a lacklustre show in the first bout.

After having bowled out the hosts for 235 in their first innings, Team India got off to a blazing start in their second essay as the opening pair of Mayank Agarwal and Prithvi Shaw played some whirlwind strokes after a disappointing first innings show where both of them could only muster 1 run between them.

While Prithvi Shaw was at his usual counterattacking best where he displayed a wide range of shots like square-cut, late-cut or the upper-cut, his fell0w partner Mayank Agarwal decided to play his own version of the ‘Natraj shot’ off Scott Kuggeleijn at the fag end of Day 02 as the Indians raised their way to 0-59 in just seven overs.

Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal steadied India’s innings

Coming into the final day, all eyes were on the duo of Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal as to how would they approach their innings. Shaw started in the same way as he left on Day 02 but soon found his middle stump get knocked over by Daryll Mitchell after scoring a 31-ball 38. 

Shubman Gill once again failed to make the opportunity count and was trapped LBW. India made an interesting choice and promoted the discarded wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant at No.4.

Meanwhile, Mayank continued to chip away by creaming sumptuous strokes which included cover drives, straight drives among many others. The Indian opener, who has lately endured a rough patch ever since he landed in New Zealand, brought up a much-needed half-century- much to the relief of the team management and the fans. Agarwal finally retired hurt on a 99-ball 81– an innings which included ten fours and three sixes.

The Karnataka opener stitched an unbeaten 134-run-stand for the third wicket with Rishabh Pant. Pant too looked in cracking form as he displayed his precocious hitting talent during his whirlwind 65-ball 70- an innings which included four fours and as many sixes. India eventually finished the day at 4-252 in a mere 48 overs with an overall lead of 280.

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