While Mayank Agarwal is guaranteed to open the innings, the team-management will have to pick one between Shubman Gill and Prithvi Shaw. "A long walk by the Blue Springs and a whole lot of fun with the teammates, that's how Team India spent the day off ahead of the Test series", the BCCI tweeted along with the photos from the scenic spot - known for being one of the purest water sources in Putaruru. After the Indians captain, Virat Kohli, opted to bat first, Prithvi Shaw was sent packing for a four-ball duck in the very first over by Scott Kuggeleijn. Pujara was batting on 54 (159) at that time and Vihari was on 39 (118).
Hanuma Vihari, who scored a gritty hundred in the ongoing three-day practice game against New Zealand XI, on Friday said he is ready to bat anywhere for India in the upcoming two-match Test series starting February 21. He certainly hasn't heard any such talk just yet. As of now, I have not been informed anything. "As I said before as well, if the team requires me to bat wherever, I am ready to bat", said Vihari, who retired after scoring 101.
Whenever he bats, there's a sense of calmness about Vihari, a sense that he has a plan and won't be swayed from it too easily.
This wicket had extra bounce, more than what I've experienced in New Zealand before.
For the Test series, Neil Wagner's short ball is something that the top order needs to be cautious of, feels Vihari.
"It's exciting to look around the group in the changing room and see a lot of players with experience at worldwide level". "And I was quick enough to adjust my game according to the conditions, so whenever I bat next, New Zealand or Australia, wherever it is, it is up to me what I want to do with my game and how quickly I adjust and I'm happy that I could do it".
There was plenty of excitement when the speedster finally got the nod in Perth before Christmas, two years after he was first included in a test squad, but by the tea break his involvement in the match as a bowler was over.
"When the wicket flattens out, they (NZ bowlers) try to experiment with the short balls and I am sure even Neil Wagner will come up with the same ploy".
"We've seen it before in the Australian series and the home series for them. It's good exposure for us".
The bounce at Seddon Park may have been a surprise, but the grass cover was fairly typical of New Zealand pitches in red-ball cricket. Vihari expects more of the same in the Test series. "Because their [New Zealand's] strength is fast bowling, so maybe they'll give this much grass or a little less". They have a very experienced bowling attack but it's good that we got some time in the middle and we experienced these conditions.