India got off to a disappointing start in the three-day warm-up game against New Zealand XI at the Seddon Park in Hamilton on Friday, losing their first three wickets for just five runs.
The focus heading into this game, as far as India’s batting is concerned, centered around the opening combination. Mayank Agarwal, Prithvi Shaw and Shubman Gill are the three candidates for the two slots and sadly for the visitors, all three of them failed to fire on Friday.
Shaw, who opened the innings, was the first batsman to perish as he got out caught off the fourth ball of the match. Agarwal was the next one to walk back to the hut after scoring just a run as he chased a short ball and edged it to the ‘keeper.
Finally, Gill, who came into this match in good form, was dismissed off the first ball as he got caught at third slip. All three wickets were taken by right-arm pace Scott Kuggeleijn.
Things went from bad to worse for India as Ajinkya Rahane didn’t last long either, falling to James Neesham after scoring 18 runs.
With the score on 38/4, Cheteshwar Pujara and Hanuma Vihari (batting at No 3 and 6 respectively) got together to build a strong partnership. The right-handed batsmen took their team to 134/4 in 53 overs at the tea break. Pujara was batting on 54 (159) at that time and Vihari was on 39 (118).
New Zealand XI: Henry Cooper, Will Young, Rachin Ravindra, Tim Seifert, Tom Bruce, Daryl Mitchell (c), Dane Cleaver (wk), James Neesham, Finn Allen, Scott Kuggeleijn, Jake Gibson, Scott Johnston, Ish Sodhi, Blair Tickner.
India: Prithvi Shaw, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Shubman Gill, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Virat Kohli (c), Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Rishabh Pant, Navdeep Saini.