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Former India batsman VVS Laxman believes India's top-order will be put under a lot of pressure against New Zealand and how they respond to this pressure will determine the team's success in the upcoming Test series. In the warm-up clash, India were reduced to 5 for 3 in the first innings and hence, Laxman says that the inexperienced opening combination will hold the key to how the team fares.
“For me, the biggest challenge will be for the young openers. Mayank Agarwal did not have a great ODI series, he also bagged a pair in the only match he played with India A. And then, whether it is Prithvi Shaw or Shubman Gill, they are inexperienced. If we have to put pressure on the home team in their own conditions, you have to score big in the first innings. A lot will depend on how they counter the new ball attack of New Zealand,” Laxman told Star Sports.
The hosts have been bolstered by the addition of Trent Boult and Neil Wagner for the Test series and they will be a tricky proposition for the Indian batting line-up. Wellington, the venue of the first Test match, has been a good venue for swing and seam bowlers and the task will be cut out for the young openers.
Both the openers, Mayank Agarwal and Prithvi Shaw, looked good in the second innings of the warm-up clash and they would likely be India's opening combination in the first Test.
It will be interesting to see how India fares against the Kiwis in the Test series.