Wasim Jaffer flagged a small technical fault in Mayank Agarwal's technique after the opening batter's dismissal on Wednesday. The former cricketer said Agarwal's "tendency to stay on the back foot" and play with an open stance exposes him to out-swing bowling and precludes him from leaving fourth-stump balls.
Making a comeback in Test cricket after over 10 months, Mayank Agarwal played skittishly for his 28-ball 13. He was constantly troubled by New Zealand's ace pacer Kyle Jamieson who kept probing around the off-stump line. The batter went feeling for the out-swinger in the eighth over, giving the 'keeper an easy catch.
Speaking in a chat with ESPNcricinfo, Wasim Jaffer analyzed the dismissal, saying:
"I think he could have left it. He would be unhappy that he played it. I mean, he was playing and missing quite a few balls. He has a tendency of staying a little bit on the back foot, outswingers do pose him a little bit of a problem. He gets opened up, gets chest on quite a lot. That's something he needs to work on in his game, especially in conditions where there's lateral moment. That's exactly what happened."
Wasim Jaffer added:
"In that small innings, he didn't look confident against Jamieson and he obviously found that edge. He would be unhappy that he played at those balls that he should have left alone."
India won the toss and opted to bat first in Kanpur. After Mayank Agarwal's dismissal, Shubman Gill (52 off 93) took the attack on New Zealand spinners and Cheteshwar Pujara (26 off 88 also settled in on the other end. The hosts concluded the first session with a healthy scoreline of 82-1.
"India will take it very happily" - Wasim Jaffer
Wasim Jaffer added that while Mayank Agarwal would be disappointed with his dismissal, India would take their first-session effort with both hands.
Wasim Jaffer said:
"I think they'll take it very happily. The first session is very important for any team if you bat first. Even if you score 60-70 or whatever and do not lose more than 1 wicket, I think you'll be happy and take that because rest of the sessions will going to get easier and easier. So I think India played brilliantly. Mayank would be a bit unhappy because he didn't score runs but Shubman Gill was outstanding and Pujara [was] just being Pujara."
India's first session success didn't eke out into the second. Kyle Jamieson once again made crucial breakthroughs as he bowled both Gill (first over of the second session) and skipper Ajinkya Rahane (35 off 63). Pujara lost his wicket to Tim Southee before Rahane, leaving the hosts reeling at 145-4.