India have begun their preparations for the litmus test against New Zealand by playing a 3-day warm-up game against the New Zealand A side. India opted to bat first on an absolute green mamba which the curators have provided from the warm-up game. The warm-up game will help the Indians to prepare to face the world-class trio of Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, and Trent Boult.
Shubman Gill and Prithvi Shaw failed to impress
Ever since the ace Indian opener Rohit Sharma got injured and was declared as not fit to take part in the ODIs and tests, there has been lots of talk over Shubman Gill and Prithvi Shaw replacing Rohit Sharma at the top.
Though Prithvi Shaw edged out Shubman Gill at the top of the order in the ODI series, it is expected to be a really intense competition between Gill and Shaw for that test opener slot.
The pocket-dynamite Prithvi Shaw looked awful against the moving ball in the ODIs and as a result, couldn’t able to convert his starts into big ones.
On the other hand, Shubman Gill has been scoring buckets of runs for India A and has been constantly breathing down the neck of Prithvi Shaw.
Scores of Shubman Gill in the unofficial test series against New Zealand A:
It was expected to be a fierce competition between Shaw and Gill for that one available spot at the top but both the batsmen were dismissed for a duck in the first warm-up game.
Fans were disappointed with both Shaw and Gill failing to seize the opportunity presented to them.
Hanuma Vihari continues his dream run
After the dismal start from the Indian top-order batters, it was the elegant pair of Pujara and Vihari who took India to a respectable total of 263 at the loss of 9 wickets at the end of day 1. Cheteshwar Pujara departed for a hard-fought 93 after facing 211 balls. The man in form Hanuma Vihari was retired hurt after completing his century on a difficult wicket.
Hanuma Vihari has been in sublime touch in this tour. He has scores of 59, 100*, and 51 for India A against New Zealand A. Now he has started the warm-up game with a century. He will be a key prospect for India if they are to withstand the Blackcaps bowling attack in the test series.