Agarwal’s hundred rescued India after Ajaz Patel’s brilliant four-wicket haul including the wickets of Virat Kohli and Chateshwar Pujara.
India lost 3 wickets for no run at one stage but Agarwal settled team India with a 100 and he was well supported by Iyer and Saha.
India 1st innings 221-4
Agarwal 120 (246) Patel 4-73 S. Gill 44 (71)
Both Agarwal and Saha’s places were uncertain in the playing 11 before the match but they turned up for India on day 1.
They had an unbroken 61-run partnership to put 221-4 on the board before stumps.
There was a lot of rain overnight that created a lot of wet patches on the pitch.
The morning session was washed out and there was an early lunch break due to the wet patches.
But still, 70 overs were bowled today and only 20 overs were lost on the day which is great because the whole first session was washed out due to the wet outfield.
Brilliant opening stand
Mayank Agarwal and Shubman Gill were superb at the start and they dominated the new ball period very nicely.
Gill smashed 3 fours on his first 6 balls to put bowlers under pressure straight away.
Gill was dismissed by Jamieson twice in the first test but today he looked confident against him and played some astonishing shots against him.
He was also looking good against spin as well especially against Somerville’s off-spin.
Mayank Agarwal was more careful at the start.
He saw off the opening spell from the seamers patiently but he looked confident against the spinners and he also played some aggressive shots against the spinners.
Mayank Agarwal and Shubman Gill put up a brilliant 80-run stand for the opening wicket and gave India a very wonderful start to the match.
Ajaz Patel strikes
India was 80 for no loss but then came the Mumbai-born, Ajaz Patel who bowled an outstanding spell to get his side back in the match.
He first broke the opening stand by dismissing Gill for 44 runs in the 28th over.
The keeper Blundell missed a stumping chance of his delivery against Gill but he got him out on the very next ball as Gill found an outside edge that went straight to Ross Taylor’s hands.
In his next over, Ajaz Patel dismissed the experienced but out-of-form Pujara with a delivery that turned sharply from leg stump to knock back his off stump.
In the same over, he dismissed the returning Kohli for a duck.
Kohli was given LBW but he thought he might have nicked and taken a review but there was not enough evidence for the umpire to change his decision.
Ajaz grabbed 3 crucial wickets in no time and from controlling the game at 80-0, team India was struggling at 80-3.
Mayank Agarwal’s fantastic ton
Mayank Agarwal was outstanding with the bat.
There were a lot of talks going around that he will not be part of the team in the second test but the management believed in him and he didn’t disappoint them by scoring an outstanding century at a crucial time.
He started patiently but he was more fluent in the post-tea session as he scored 33 of the total 45 runs India had made in the first 10 overs after the break.
He was comfortable against the spin bowlers and he was even scoring runs fluently against Ajaz Patel who picked up all 4 wickets.
Mayank scored his 4th hundred in Test cricket and it was his first ton in 14 innings.
Mayank Agarwal is still on the crease with an unbeaten knock of 120 runs.
Agarwal made a good partnership with Iyer to rescue India after that Ajaz Patel show in the 28th and 30th over of the innings.
Iyer contributed 18 runs in the 80-run stand with Agarwal before getting dismissed on Ajaz Patel’s delivery.
Saha was sent earlier before Ashwin due to that spectacular knock he played in the last test.
Saha is still not out on 25 runs alongside Mayank Agarwal and both of them will continue their partnership on day 2 and they will try to put a big first-innings total on the board for India.