The discarded Indian opener Gautam Gambhir and Karnataka batsman Mayank Agarwal, on day 1 led a strong foundation to help India Blue to put up 336 on the board. Both the openers shared 212 runs for the first wicket.
On a bright sunny afternoon in Great Noida when the sun was shining at 35 degrees C, the Indian Blue captain won the toss and decided to bat first. India Blue started off well with Agarwal hitting a boundary off Bumrah on the second ball of the game followed by another in the next over but soon Bumrah trapped Agarwal in front of stumps. Agarwal was on his way back to the pavilion before umpire asked him to wait as they were checking for a no-ball. After having a close look the third umpire called it for a no-ball as Bumrah had overstepped.
Agarwal took a deep sigh of relief and then continued his assault on the bowlers. He did not change his playing style but avoided taking any risk this time.
Both Agarwal and Gambhir started milking singles in between the wickets to keep the scoreboard moving whereas Agarwal continued to entertain the fans by hitting occasional boundaries.
The India Blue crossed the hundred run mark in 24th over when Mayank Agarwal smashed a boundary of Jasprit Bumrah again. It was seen that Agarwal was playing freely hitting boundaries on regular intervals whereas Gambhir was taking some extra time at the crease playing safe shots. It was evident from the fact that Agarwal completed his half century in just 64 balls whereas Gambhir took 107 balls to reach the 50 runs mark. The similar scenes continued for next one and a half hour.
Then came a moment of joy when Agarwal cruised to his second first-class century in just 142 balls. Gambhir was too approaching towards his century but he was deprived of the mark as he was run out when he ran for the second suicidal run. Despite a poor throw, the former Indian wicketkeeper pounced upon the ball and dislodged the bails like a superman. Gambhir was dismissed on a score of 90 missing out on a century in the second consecutive innings.
The wicket did not affect Agarwal style of play and he continued to play in his own style. Pujara was too supporting him well like Gambhir was doing earlier. Meanwhile, Agarwal crossed the 150 run mark.
In the end of the day, the India Green had their moment giving a double blow to the India Blue in form of Mayank Agarwal and Sidhesh Lad. Agarwal was dismissed on the score of 161 whereas Lad could just score 1 run. India Blue ended the day with a score of 336/3.
Agarwal’s century and a half century from Gambhir and Pujara were the highlights of the day. India blue will be looking to add 100-150 runs more in the first two sessions whereas Pujara will also look to score another century to present a case in front of selectors.