The Boxing Day Test between India and Australia has got underway as Indian captain Virat Kohli won the toss for India and chose to bat first. Indian team has made three changes to their squad, bringing debutant Mayank Agarwal, Ravindra Jadega and Rohit Sharma in place of KL Rahul, Murali Vijay and Umesh Yadav.
Mayank Agarwal scored a determined half-century at Melbourne Cricket Ground on his debut Test match. On scoring this half-century he became the 2nd cricketer from India to score 50 plus score in Australia on his debut. Earlier Dattu Phadkar in 1947 scored 51 runs on his debut Test match in Sydney.
After KL Rahul and Murali Vijay failed to score runs in first two Test matches, the chance is given to a new opening pair of Hanuma Vihari and 27-year-old debutant Mayank Agarwal who stood on the crease for 18.5 overs. Although Hanuma Vihari dismissed early, scoring only 8 runs from 66 deliveries but succeeded to provide momentum to the team by scoring a partnership of 40 runs along with partner Mayank Agarwal.
Debutant Mayank Agarwal who displayed a classy performance with his bat scored 76 runs which is the most by an Indian opener in this on-going India vs Australia Test Series. He played out first session patiently, scoring 38 runs. Mayank’s defence was rock solid and his attacking was also equally impressive.
Former Indian cricketer Aakash Chopra and commentator Harsha Bhogle along with many fans took to twitter to praised the impressive performance by debutant Mayank Agarwal.
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) December 26, 2018
Wonderfully played by Mayank Agarwal. Has shown no nerves and the mountain of runs he has scored seems to have stood him in good stead. Has batted so far like he belongs
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) December 26, 2018
The 40-run partnership between the opening pair after facing 18.5 overs is also the longest stand by Indian openers in terms of balls faced across Australia, South Africa, New Zealand and England in Test cricket since December 2010 when Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir faced 29.3 overs against the South African team.