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Agarwal, Shankar & Kaul Make the Most of A Tour to New Zealand

India A ended their tour of New Zealand with a 75-run victory in the third and final ODI at Maunganui, thereby sweeping the series 3-0. They also gave a good account of themselves in the three four-day Tests, getting big runs in all the three matches.

Nikhil Narain |December 12, 2018, 2:20 PM IST
Agarwal, Shankar & Kaul Make the Most of A Tour to New Zealand

India A ended their tour of New Zealand with a 75-run victory in the third and final ODI at Maunganui, thereby sweeping the series 3-0. They also gave a good account of themselves in the three four-day Tests, getting big runs in all the three matches.

So who were the batsmen who stood out? Who will be knocking for selection in the senior team? How did the bowlers perform? Who missed out?

Let us analyze:

UNOFFICIAL TESTS:

Agarwal and Vihari continue to impress, Gowtham leads the bowling charts

Mayank Agarwal was the highest scorer for India (and the second-highest overall) in the three Test series scoring 149 runs in three innings. He scored 65 in 108 deliveries and followed that with a 70-ball 42 in the first Test at Mount Maunganui (coming in at number three in both the innings). He opened in the first innings at Hamilton and scored a quickfire 42 in just 57 balls. What was noticeable was his consistency and the high percentage of runs in boundaries in all his three innings.

With Shaw injured and both Rahul and Vijay not fully cementing their places in the Test eleven, Agarwal has done his chances no harm by his performances in New Zealand.

Hanuma Vihari made the most of the two innings he batted in the opening Test at Mount Maunganui. He scored a patient 86 and aggressive 51 showing composure and a good temperament. With Rohit not making the most of the opportunity he got in Adelaide, the number 6 slot is still up for grabs should Kohli decide to tinker with the winning combination.

Prithvi Shaw, who has burst onto the international scene with a hundred on debut against the West Indies in Rajkot, registered two fifties in as many innings in New Zealand. He scored 62 in just 88 deliveries and then 50 in 53 deliveries in the series opener before crossing the Tasman Sea for national duty. Shaw was at his dominating best hitting a high number of boundaries as is typical of his batsmanship.

Vijay Shankar, the Tamil Nadu all-rounder, also registered two fifties in the series batting in the lower middle-order. He top-scored for India in Whangarei scoring 71 in 98 deliveries occupying the crease for 145 minutes. He also provided a good bowling option with his right-arm medium pace.

Ravikumar Samarth put in some good performances floating in the top-order. He scored an unbeaten 50 batting one-down at Hamilton before making a gritty 47 opening the innings at Whangarei.

Parthiv Patel scored 94 from Number 6 in the first innings of the first Test. He is the reserve keeper in Australia who could be sent as a make-shift opener if the openers continue to fail. He is also more solid than Pant and has more experience behind the stumps.

Krishnappa Gowtham, the right-arm off-spinner from Bangalore, was the highest wicket-taker of the series with 9 wickets from two innings including a 6-139 at Whangarei. He was also very economical conceding at just 2.77 runs per over.

Mohammed Siraj was the other impressive bowler from the Test series. Siraj, who has represented India in three T20Is, took 7 wickets in 3 innings. He bowled with pace and accuracy and returned with 4-59 in the first innings at Hamilton. Siraj has already picked 104 wickets in 41 bowling innings in first-class cricket at an impressive average of 20 and strike rate of 40.2.

UNOFFICIAL ODIS:

Shankar eyes middle-order spot, Pandey knocking on the door, Khaleel fails to impress and a new exciting opener

Vijay Shankar continued his impressive form in the ODI series and was the leading scorer with 188 runs from three innings. This included an unbeaten match-winning 87 off 80 balls chasing 309 in the opener at Mount Maunganui. He followed that with a 56-ball 59 in another successful chase at the same venue. He was remarkably consistent ending the series with a 43-ball 42 in the final ODI – helping India post a total which was comfortably defended by the bowlers.

What stood out for Shankar (apart from his consistency) was his high strike rate – 105.02. He scored his runs from Number 5 and 6 and is a contender for a place in the middle order looking ahead to the World Cup in England next year. He also chipped in with a few overs and was very restrictive (economy rate 5.09).

Manish Pandey did his chances no harm by blasting a match-winning unbeaten 111 off 109 deliveries in the second ODI. He scored 42 in 36 balls in the series opener. What is interesting to note is that he batted from Number 4 – a position currently occupied by Rayudu. But while Rayudu was in good form against the West Indies, his career strike rate at 79.72 remains a problem. Pandey has a career strike rate of 91.85.

Shreyas Iyer, who made his international debut in 2017, registered consecutive fifties in the first two games of the series. Batting at Number 3, he scored a run-a-ball 54 and followed that with 59 in 63 deliveries. He also scored his runs at a brisk pace and ended with a strike rate of 93.79 in the three match-series.

Anmolpreet Singh, the dashing opener from Punjab, made the most of the solitary opportunity he got in the series, scoring a match-winning 71, opening the innings in the third ODI. Anmolpreet, just 20, has had a great start to his domestic career and has scored 537 runs in 9 innings at an average of 59.66 and strike rate of 105.50. He is definitely one to watch out for in the near future.

Siddarth Kaul was the pick of the Indian bowlers in the ODI series. He topped the wickets-tally with 7 wickets from three innings including 4-37 in the final ODI. He was also reasonably restrictive with an economy rate of 5.88 in the series.

Krishnappa Gowtham, although not amongst the wickets, was the most restrictive bowler of the series conceding at a rate of just 4.44 runs per over.

Khaleel Ahmed, who has made a good start to his ODI career for India, failed to impress. He managed just 4 wickets in three matches and was also quite expensive giving away 6.32 runs per over.

Krunal Pandya failed to make any impressions with the bat in the lower order. He was also not amongst the wickets, though was quite restrictive with an economy rate of 4.88.

Shubman Gill, who has a fantastic LIST A record (1529 runs in 36 innings at an average of 47.78), failed to make an impact in the ODI series. He failed to convert his starts into substantial scores in the two matches he played.

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2 New Zealand 2829 109
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2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
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2 Australia 6986 269
3 England 5568 265
4 South Africa 4720 262
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