Team India have begun practicing at the Durham cricket ground ahead of their three-day practice game against the County Championship XI from July 20. The Indian team did some jogging followed by a game of football.
The batsmen and bowlers were also seen sweating it out in the nets. Opening batsman Mayank Agarwal spoke about India’s first practice session in Durham and shed light on the overall mood in the Indian camp
“It was good to regroup and come to the Durham cricket ground. It was not a very heavy session, but it was a session where we all regrouped, did the warm-ups together, played some football. We just want to ease into things,” Mayank Agarwal said.
Opportunity for Mayank Agarwal to cement his place at the top for India
Mayank Agarwal has had an interesting Test career so far. He made a great start to the 2019-21 World Test Championship and also became the third-fastest Indian to 1000 Test runs.
However, with a talented youngster in Shubman Gill waiting in the wings, Mayank Agarwal was replaced after a couple of failures Down Under. Since then, Gill and Rohit Sharma have been India’s first-choice openers.
Many felt the decision was a bit too harsh on Agarwal, since any player can have a couple of bad games. However, an injury to Gill might prove to be a blessing in disguise for the 30-year-old.
Shubman Gill is likely to be out of action for about two months due to his calf injury. The BCCI has also reportedly denied the Indian team’s request to send Prithvi Shaw and Devdutt Padikkal as backup openers. This means that Mayank Agarwal is almost certain to open alongside Rohit in the first Test against England.
The warm-up game will be extremely crucial for all the Indian batsmen, especially Agarwal. If he is able to find form and get a big score under his belt, it will give him as well as the Indian team management immense confidence in his ability.