New Zealand's Ferguson unlikely to make India Test series

Ruben Hill
February 15, 2020

Not the one to be unfazed by all this, Vihari is looking forward to playing whatever role that the team management wants him to perform in the upcoming Tests- even if it includes opening the innings; something he did at the Melbourne Cricket Ground during the 2018-19 Boxing Day Test. In a recent interview, Ravi Shastri spoke about both Gill and Shaw although he did not spill the beans on who would open the innings. Kuggeleijn then removed the other opener, Mayank Agarwal, for one off the first delivery of the seventh over and then picked up Shubman Gill off the very next delivery to leave Indians reeling at 5/3.

This serves as a major issue for Team India.

Batting at No. 6, Vihari made 101 at Seddon Park on Friday, and while he didn't face the new ball, there was still seam and extra bounce for the fast bowlers when he came in, and his unhurried, close-to-the-body technique was just what the Indians needed at 38 for 4.

"Me and Steady talk all the time - he was asking me how I fared in my first domestic game back, then he was asking me how I was going preparing for the weekend", Ferguson said. As of now, I have not been informed anything. "That's why I said, having options available are always in the best interests of the team", concluded Shastri.

Whenever he bats, there's a sense of calmness about Vihari, a sense that he has a plan and won't be swayed from it too easily. "So I took some time to adjust and once I knew what shots I had to avoid early on this wicket, maybe horizontal [-bat] shots, I tried to avoid that".

For the Test series, Neil Wagner's short ball is something that the top order needs to be cautious of, feels Vihari.

"At the global level, you have to be thinking on your feet", he said.

For New Zealand XI, Kuggeleijn has picked three wickets so far in his ten overs while Neesham is the only other wicket-taker so far.

Ferguson hadn't bowled in a match for more than a fortnight before his test debut, missing out on a place in the Black Caps XI for the two home tests against England, but said he didn't believe being underdone was a factor in his injury. India will take on New Zealand in the first match of the two-Test series, beginning February 21 at Wellington.

"When the wicket flattens out, they (NZ bowlers) try to experiment with the short balls and I am sure even Neil Wagner will come up with the same ploy".

The test squad to face India is set to be named on Monday, but his name is unlikely to feature, with next month's white-ball series against Australia a more realistic target. We've got that good experience in India A as well.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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