Mayank Agarwal and Axar Patel kept New Zealand spinners at bay with an unbroken 61-run stand for the seventh wicket to take India to 285/6 at lunch on the second day of the second Test currently underway at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. Ajaz Patel started the morning session with twin blows to leave India struggling before the pair of Mayank and Axar stabilised the innings.
Resuming on their overnight score of 221/4, the hosts were in for a rude shock when Ajaz struck twice in as many deliveries in the days’s second and his first over to dislodge Wriddhiman Saha (27) and Ravichandran Ashwin (0).
From 221/4, India slumped to 224/6 for the addition of three runs and with Ajaz producing turn and bounce, it seemed the innings was headed towards a quick end.
However, Mayank was solid as ever, continuing his good work from the opening day and thanks to some strong support from Axar from the other end, went about repairing the damage. He added 26 runs to his overnight score of 120 and was unbeaten on 146 when the lunch break was taken.
Axar has looked comfortable too despite being bamboozled by the odd turning delivery having struck an unbeaten 32 off 98 with the help of four fours.
However, the story of the session as Ajaz who completed his five-wicket haul, becoming the first ever New Zealand spinner to take a fifer in the first innings of a Test on Indian soil. In fact, all six wickets in the Indian innings to have fallen so far have been due to the guile and brilliance of the left-arm spinner who has exploited the conducive surface.
For the other three frontline New Zealand bowlers including the pace duo of Tim Southee and Kyle Jamieson, and offbreak Will Somerville have been unable to make any impact so far.
Brief Scores: India 285/6 in 98 overs (Mayank Agarwal 146*; Ajaz Patel 6/103) vs New Zealand at Lunch on Day 2