VVS Laxman has stated that Mayank Agarwal’s kneeling fielding stance at gully position is not ideal as it restricts movements of the fielder. Agarwal was fielding at gully while kneeling with spinners Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel in operation on Day 2 and 3 of the Kanpur Test.
India were bundled out for 345 on Day 2 of the ongoing first Test between India and New Zealand in Kanpur, with debutant Shreyas Iyer scoring a maiden Test hundred. In reply, New Zealand openers Tom Latham and Will Young provided a great start, guiding the visitors to 129/0 at the end of day's play.
Latham survived two leg-before decisions and one caught behind as all of them were reversed on successful reviews. Given the low bounce of the surface, Mayank Agarwal decided to field in a kneeling position while stationed at gully with spinners in operation.
Meanwhile, VVS Laxman, who himself took important catching position for India during his playing days, wasn't quite convinced of Agarwal's stance.
"Because of lack of bounce, we saw something different. Laxman said on Star Sports before the start of Day 3. "We saw this same thing in Vizag when India played. A different stance to stand in gully. I don’t agree with it. When you are in this position, when you want to be in close-in fielding position, you need to be ready for the catches that are coming in front, right, left or above. But in this position, all you are doing is waiting for the ball that is coming in front of you, which means it is not ideal."
On day 3, the opening batsman continued with the kneeling stance but Laxman added that the opening batsman should trust his own ability while fielding at slips.
"The ideal thing would be to back yourself, stick to a position, be in frame," Laxman said. "You do so much of preparation, take so many catches. You trust your instincts and reflexes and then find ways to still be on the ball to keep it inside and then take it low, when you are pushing yourself in front, right, left and also up. So that is the position I would back Mayank Agarwal to be in. Not in this."