Mayank Agarwal has been called up by India after captain Rohit Sharma tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of the rescheduled Test against England.

Rohit played in the first innings of the warm-up game against Leicestershire, scoring 25 before not batting in the second.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) subsequently confirmed the 35-year-old had contracted coronavirus on Saturday, just six days before the rearranged Test against England at Edgbaston starts.

Agarwal was initially left out of the squad, but an injury to KL Rahul and Rohit's isolation has opened the door for him to return to the Test side for the first time since March.

The 31-year-old managed just 59 runs in his last two Tests against Sri Lanka at home and endured a difficult Indian Premier League campaign, registering just 196 runs at an average of 16.3.

Agarwal looked likely to open when India travelled to England last year but suffered concussion before the opener, with Rohit stepping in and leading the tourists' scoring charts with 368 runs in eight innings.

That is the second-most runs scored by any batter in the series, which the tourists lead 2-1 with one match to play, but India will now face a resurgent England side under new leadership.

Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes have combined as the new coach and captain partnership, with England downing world Test champions New Zealand 3-0.

England completed the series whitewash over the Kiwis on Monday, easing to their 296 target at Headingley to become the first Test team to chase down 250 three times in a single series.

India squad:  Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Hanuma Vihari, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rishabh Pant (wk), KS Bharat (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Prasidh Krishna, Mayank Agarwal.

 

Shikhar Dhawan led the Punjab Kings to an 11-run Indian Premier League win over Chennai Super Kings with a brilliant half-century.

The Kings posted a imposing 187-4 after Ravindra Jadeja won the toss and put them in on Monday.

Ambati Rayudu made a blistering 78 off 39 balls, but was dismissed in the 17th over as the struggling reigning champions were condemned to their sixth defeat in eight matches, leaving their play-off hopes in tatters.

The Kings were unable to get off to a flyer and lost captain Mayank Agarwal for 18, Shivam Dube taking the catch off the bowling of Maheesh Theekshana.

Dhawan, however, became the third-highest scorer in the 2022 IPL with a terrific knock, supported in excellent fashion by Bhanuka Rajapaska (42) until he also fell victim to a catch from Dube for Dwayne Bravo.

Liam Livingstone made a rapid 19 from seven balls as Punjab produced a late flurry of runs.

Robin Uthappa (1), Mitchell Santner (9), and Dube (8) fell cheaply to leave CSK in trouble on 40-3 from seven overs, before Rayudu's talismanic efforts threatened to be the catalyst for a stunning win.

Agarwal caught Ruturaj Gaikwad for 30, before Rayudu was cleaned up by the impressive Kagiso Rabada, who claimed excellent figures of 2-23.

Chennai's hopes of chasing down their target looked slim after Rayudu was sent packing, with Jadeja (21 not out) and MS Dhoni (12) unable to get them home.

Dhawan sets the tone

Dhawan's classy knock went a long way to ending the Kings' two-match losing run and Punjab are in sixth spot with four wins and as many defeats.

The India opener struck two sixes and nine fours, shifting through the gears after a watchful start.

Rayudu goes close for out-of-form Super Kings

Chennai's miserable IPL title defence continued after their top order was decimated early on, but Rayudu was unfortunate to taste defeat after single-handedly dragging his side into contention.

Mumbai Indians' winless start to the Indian Premier League season continued, as an exceptional display from Punjab Kings' top order was enough to hold off the five-time champions

Half-centuries from Mayank Argarwal (52) and Shikhar Dhawan (70) established a commanding lead for the Kings, which Mumbai always looked unlikely to reach once Rohit Sharma went for 28. 

Dewald Brevis (49) and Suryakumar Yadav (43) both looked to spearhead an unlikely revival for Mumbai, but fell narrowly short of half-centuries as they suffered a fifth consecutive loss.

Mumbai elected to put the Kings into bat when winning the toss, but Agarwal and Dhawan struck up an excellent partnership as the Mumbai attack struggled to make headway early on.

The Kings reached 97 before Argarwal was caught by Yadav, before Jonny Bairstow and Liam Livingstone were bowled out for 12 and two runs respectively. 

Dangerman Dhawan was finally caught by Keiron Pollard after joining Argarwal in hitting a half-century, after which a decent showing from Jitesh Sharma (30) and a mammoth haul of 28 runs in the 17th over carried the Kings to 198.

Mumbai skipper Rohit was tasked with leading the response with the bat, but their hopes of avoiding another defeat looked slim once he fell for 28, particularly once partner Ishan Kishan went for just three runs shortly after.

Brevis and Tilak Varma subsequently sought to lead a stunning response, with the former smashing four consecutive sixes in a spectacular eighth over before falling to Odean Smith when one run short of his own century.

Tilak was run out by Argarwal soon after, before Pollard suffered a calamitous run-out for just 10 at the hands of Smith as Mumbai's hopes faded.

Yadav looked to lead once last attack for the batting side, but fell for 43 in a thrilling 19th over as the Kings held on for a third victory in five IPL outings, Smith posting three wickets in a comfortable final over.

Kings duo star with the bat

Half-centuries from the Kings' top-order batsmen set them on their way to victory, with Argarwal reaching 52 and Dhawan 70 in an outstanding display, setting a target which proved beyond Mumbai after their own top-order fell in quick fashion.

Stunning finish sees Smith rack up the wickets

Smith, meanwhile, finished with a brilliant four wickets from 30 balls for the victors after accounting for the last three dismissals of the match, as Mumbai collapsed after Yadav fell in the 19th.

Mayank Agarwal held India's innings together with a terrific century on day one of the second Test against New Zealand, as Virat Kohli's return to the team saw the captain dismissed for a duck.

India posted 221-4 in Mumbai, with Agarwal 120 not out at stumps after a valiant effort at the top of the order.

All the wickets went to New Zealand's left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel, who at one point reduced India from 80-0 to 80-3 when he removed Shubman Gill for 44 and added the wickets of Cheteshwar Pujara and Kohli in quick succession.

Kohli had spoken on Thursday of being determined to go the "hard yards" where necessary for India's sake, having missed the recent T20I series and the first Test in order to take a breather.

Ajaz had Gill caught by Ross Taylor at slip before bowling Pujara with a heavily turning delivery and getting an lbw verdict to dismiss Kohli, who was not reprieved by a review with no sign of an inside edge.

Partners came and went, but Agarwal - who kept his place in the team while Ajinkya Rahane missed out through injury - ploughed on, making a case to stay in the side for India's next assignments, although Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul may have something to say about that. Rohit has been rested for this series, which Rahul has missed due to injury.

Shreyas Iyer, who had a century and a fifty in the first Test, fell for 18 this time around to end an 80-run partnership for the fourth wicket, and Agarwal and Wriddhiman Saha (25no) put on 61 to guide India through to the close with no further casualties, leaving the deciding match of a two-game series finely poised.


Agarwal earns his place

A cover drive off Daryl Mitchell took Agarwal into three figures, his fourth Test century. He then spanked Ajaz for six from the penultimate ball of the evening to cap an impressive day's effort. Agarwal has converted two of his previous tons into doubles, against South Africa and Bangladesh, and will hope to do the same here, having revealed some words of advice from coach Rahul Dravid.

"He had told me, 'When you get set, make it big'," Agarwal said. "I am happy to have capitalised on the start that I had. But that message was very clear from Rahul, that I should make it count.

"This innings was more about grit and determination, just to stick with the plan and be disciplined. I know I didn't look good sometimes, but I got the job done. Getting runs in this format, the hardest format of the game, is the most satisfying feeling."

Special day for Ajaz

Four wickets anywhere is good going for a bowler, but for Ajaz this doubtless felt particularly special. He was born in Mumbai and emigrated with his family to New Zealand in 1996, going on to make his Test debut in 2018. Now 33 years old, he put India in a spin and will be chasing a third Test five-wicket haul on Saturday.

Delhi Capitals piled on the pain for Punjab Kings and KL Rahul by racing to a seven-wicket victory in the Indian Premier League and going top of the table.

It was revealed earlier on Sunday that Kings captain and star batsman Rahul faces surgery after being diagnosed with acute appendicitis, and he was in hospital while this match played out at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.

In his absence, stand-in skipper Mayank Agarwal made a dominant 99 not out in a total of 166-6, helming the Kings innings and cutting loose when he saw fit in a terrific 58-ball knock that contained four sixes and eight fours.

Shikhar Dhawan produced the key innings for the Capitals in response, making an unbeaten 69 and finding the sort of support that Agarwal lacked, helping Delhi to 167-3, winning with 14 balls to spare.

Agarwal had required five from the final ball of the Kings innings to post what would have been just the second IPL century of his career, but he could only crunch a four down the ground rather than clear the ropes.

Kagiso Rabada had earlier taken two wickets in his first two overs, the second coming when he bowled Kings veteran Chris Gayle with a full toss immediately after being cracked for six by the West Indies batsman.

That was the first of three sixes off Rabada's bowling, but the South African paceman also removed Prabhsimran Singh and Chris Jordan while taking 3-36 in his four-over allocation.

Dawid Malan made 26 but it was ostensibly a one-man show as Agarwal contended with a revolving cast of batting partners.

Delhi had more about them, with Prithvi Shaw making 39 in a 63-run first-wicket stand alongside Dhawan, before Steve Smith added 25.

Shimron Hetmyer launched Riley Meredith for two consecutive sixes followed by a cover drive for four in the 18th over, leaving Delhi just two short of their victory target.

Neither Hetmyer nor Dhawan had the privilege of finishing the job, however, with a pair of wides from Meredith carrying the Capitals over the line.


Agarwal deserved better

Not only did he take over as captain, Agarwal also led by proud example, just as Rahul as so often done. His innings was the standout performance of this match, but where he rose to the occasion, others in the Kings ranks wilted. Gayle, with 13, was the team's third highest scorer, and it is almost impossible to win matches that way.

Getting all Het up

Hetmyer's late care-free cameo of 16 from four deliveries would likely not have happened without his team-mates laying solid foundations. They did so in the face of largely unthreatening bowling from Punjab, who sit sixth with three wins from eight games, amid doubts over whether their leader will be back in action this season.

Shikhar Dhawan smashed 92 to lead Delhi Capitals to a six-wicket win over Punjab Kings in a high-scoring Indian Premier League encounter.

Half-centuries from KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal helped Punjab post 195-4 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai after being put into bat by Capitals skipper Rishabh Pant.

However, Delhi – who came into the contest having alternated between defeat and victory across their previous seven IPL games – bounced back from a three-wicket loss to Rajasthan Royals last time out in stunning fashion.

Dhawan dominated the Kings attack in a well-paced chase, following up his 85 in his side's opener against Chennai Super Kings with a marvellous knock that included 13 fours and two sixes.

Opening partner Prithvi Shaw contributed 32 at the top of the Capitals' order while Marcus Stoinis finished the job in a hurry, the all-rounder making 27 not out from just 13 balls.

Punjab's total had been built on the solid foundation provided by openers Rahul and Agarwal as they shared a 122-run stand, the latter the more aggressive of the pair as his score of 69 came from 36 deliveries.

West Indian duo Chris Gayle and Nicholas Pooran made just 11 and nine respectively as the innings briefly stuttered, but late cameos from Deepak Hooda – who hit two sixes to make 22 not out from 13 deliveries – and Shahrukh Khan (15 off five balls) lifted the Kings.

Delhi had lost five of the past seven meetings between the franchises but Dhawan made sure they prevailed this time, in the process becoming the competition's leading run-scorer in 2021.

 

Kings run into a spot of trouble

Rahul hit seven fours and two sixes while at the crease, but his 61 runs came from 51 deliveries at a strike-rate of 119.60.

Punjab Kings would have had designs on making in excess of 200 following the start they were given by their openers, but an inability to get after Ravichandran Ashwin – his four overs of spin went for just 28 runs – saw them come up just short.

Capitals gain from in-form opener

Dhawan received the orange cap after the game as he moved above Glenn Maxwell of Royal Challengers Bangalore in the run-scoring table. The left-hander is scoring at 163.15 runs per 100 deliveries in the 2021 edition of the Twenty20 tournament, despite having only hit four sixes.

Bowled within sight of a century as he attempted to sweep Australian seamer Jhye Richardson, Dhawan then watched on as Stoinis rushed his team home with 10 balls to spare.

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