India vs New Zealand: Mayank Agarwal 36 runs away from surpassing Cheteshwar Pujara and Sunil Gavaskar in elite list

India opener Mayank Agarwal is on the verge of adding a new feather into his cap when he takes to the field against New Zealand in the second Test at Hagley Oval in Christchurch starting Saturday. Virat Kohli and his troops currently trail the two-match series 0-1 following their 10-wickets loss in Wellington. The visitors will be eager to end the tour with a series-levelling win and consolidate their position at the top of World Test Championship table.

Mayank, who was India’s best batsman in the first Test, is on the cusp of surpassing stalwarts Cheteshwar Pujara and Sunil Gavaskar in an elite Test list. He is just 36 runs away from to becoming the second -fastest Indian to complete 1000 Test runs.

Former opener Vinod Kambli holds the top spot as he went past the mark in just 14 innings. Pujara and Gavaskar went over the 1000-run mark in their 18th and 21st innings respectively. If Mayank manages to achieve this feat in the next Test, he will do so in 16th or 17th innings, depending upon the innings in which he accumulates these 36 runs.

India will be hopeful Mayank continues his good form and provide India with another good start in Christchurch. With scores of 35 and 59, Mayank will open the batting along side either Prithvi Shaw or Shubman Gill.

The visitors have now lost four matches on the trot in New Zealand (3 ODI and 1 Test) and they will have to regain their lost touch which made them the number one ranked team in the longest format.

Despite their heavy defeat in Wellington, head coach Ravi Shastri remained upbeat ahead of second Test and stated they need to learn from their mistakes and play with clear mindset in the upcoming contest.

“We were outplayed in the first Test but I always believe that a shake-up like that is good. It opens your mindset,” Shastri told reporters in Christchurch on Friday.

“If you have not tasted defeat you can have a closed or fixed mindset. Here, when you see what has happened, it is good, it gives you opportunities to learn.

“You know what New Zealand are doing and what to expect. It’s a good lesson and the boys are up for the challenge,” he added.

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