Why India was able to dominate Day 1 in first Test

‘We will just try and get as many as well can. A score of 400-plus would be good.’

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Mayank Agarwal believes discipline and application were the key elements to India’s commanding score of 272 for 3 on Day 1 of the first Test against South Africa on Sunday.

After electing to bat, India looked largely untroubled on a slow wicket, with Agarwal scoring 60 in a first-wicket stand of 117 with KL Rahul, who finished the day on a patient 122 not out.

“We really applied ourselves as batsmen; we were really determined and disciplined about how we went about it,” Agarwal told reporters at Centurion Park.

“There was a bit of moisture in the wicket early and that is why a few balls kicked from a length.

“It got a little better to bat on as the day progressed and got a little quicker.

“The crucial point for us is getting partnerships. We had a good partnership first up and then with Virat (Kohli) and KL, and now with Ajinkya (Rahane) and KL. Making our partnerships bigger and bigger is the key.”

Agarwal said the other batsmen could learn from Rahul’s organisation at the crease.

“He really understands where his off-stump is. He is getting into line with the ball and leaving really well. He is very disciplined with his game-plans and his mindset. He is looking to bat sessions and bat through (the innings) when he gets set.”

Sri Lanka scored 396 in the first innings at Centurion exactly a year ago and still lost the Test, though India will point to a far superior bowling line-up to Test the South Africans.

“We will just try and get as many as well can,” Agarwal said. “The first hour (on Monday) will be crucial and if we can (get through that) then we can definitely pile on a good total. A score of 400-plus would be good.”

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