India opener Mayank Agarwal geared up for the New Zealand Tests with a timely 81 during the warm-up against New Zealand XI on Sunday. Agarwal scored 81 with 10 fours and three sixes before retiring out and the knock promises to serve as a confidence-booster considering his dodgy form so far in New Zealand.

Agarwal’s series of scores read 8, 32, 29, 37, 24, 0, 0, 32, 3, 1, 1 and the batsman says he is looking forward to Wellington, which hosts the first Test Friday.

“It’s been a little different playing here but I want to leave all that behind. Whatever has happened has happened. Yes, I got an 81 in the second innings of this practice game and I want to take this confidence forward into the Test match,” Agarwal said after India’s warm-up with NZ XI ended in a draw.

The India opener weighed in on the technical improvements he’s implemented in his batting after a conversation with batting coach Vikram Rathour.

“Vikram sir and me, we have sat down and spoken about the areas where we need to improve. Yes, we have worked on it. After I got out in the first innings, I went back behind to the nets, did a lot of drills. I am happy whatever I have worked on is coming good now,” he said.

“Just being a little too closed. That’s just one part of it. But it is what it is and I don’t want to discuss too much about it. Yes, we worked on and we’ve moved forward and I would leave all that behind. It’s just one of those things that has happened while batting and I am glad that we are able to rectify it and move ahead.”

Agarwal’s 81 came off 99 balls. Being dismissed for 1 in the first innings, he and Rishabh Pant added 100 in 19 overs on Day 3 and scored at over five runs an over as India finished on 252/4 in 48 overs.

“There’s no point thinking about what’s happened. Obviously, I can’t bring that back. The last thing I can tell myself is yes, I have got 81 not out here and I can carry that into the Test match.”

“I got a couple of on-drives in this innings and as a batsman, you know that you have to be doing a lot of things correct to hit an on-drive. When I got a couple of those, it gave me the assurance that was required.”

With Rohit Sharma out, Agarwal and Prithvi Shaw are set to open the innings for India. The two put on a half-century stand in their ODI debut during the first match of the series but have since struggled to provide India a start. Having played plenty of domestic cricket together, the two batsmen have played know what it takes to form a good opening pair.

“We (him and Shaw) have played a lot of cricket together and we have a good understanding. Whatever needs to be communicated between us, we do that,” Agarwal said.

“Whether it is me telling him something or whether it is him tell me anything. This team culture is beyond senior and junior and the number of matches we have played. It’s all about communication, going out there, helping each other, finding ways to succeed.”