Opener Mayank Agarwal scored his fourth Test century on Day 1 of the second Test match against New Zealand at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai. The talented opener returned to form at probably the best time to lead India’s fightback after spinner Ajaz Patel spun the web around India’s batting order with his four-wicket haul. He also end a 2-year-long century drought with that knock as he reached the triple-figure mark last time in November 2019 when he converted his ton to a double hundred against Bangladesh in Indore.
The flamboyant opener played a gritty knock against a quality bowling attack to reach his fourth Test century in 196 balls.
The morning session of the match was wiped off due to wet outfield after overnight heavy rain as Indian captain Virat Kohli won the toss and elected to bat first after his return to competitive cricket after a brief break.
Mayank and Shubman batted out the tricky initial phase of the day with some offensive approach. Shubman missed his well-deserved half-century and was dismissed on 44 by Ajaz triggered a mini-collapse by dismissing Cheteshwar Pujara and Kohli in the same over.
However, Mayank stood strong during the critical phase and shared a crucial 80-run stand alongside Shreyas Iyer who scored 18 runs before becoming the fourth victim of Ajaz.
The 30-year-old then lead India’s fightback alongside Wriddhiman Saha to stabilize the innings. Throughout his knock, Mayank played some powerful counter-attacking shots against the spinners to put them under pressure.
The talented batter was going through a rough patch in international cricket in the past year as he failed to cross the 50-run mark in the past 10 innings before scoring a majestic ton in Mumbai.
In the first Test, he failed to capitalize on the occasion and was dismissed on 13 and 17 in absence of regular openers Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul. The speculations were also going around that he was supposed to get dropped for the ongoing Test to make place for Kohli. However, Kohli came in place of injured and out of form vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane, who was out with a hamstring niggle.
The 30-year-old showed his worth in the crucial stage to silence his critics. Interestingly all of Mayank’s century has come on the Indian soil as he enjoyed a great record in home conditions with an astonishing average of over 90.