One of the more experienced heads in the first class circuit in Indian cricket, Mayank Agarwal has been in the form of his life in the recent months. A fantastic double century in the unofficial Test match for India A against South Africa A is testament to his progress as a batsman.
Speaking to the media at the end of the third day’s play in Bengaluru, the opening batsman spoke about his appetite for big scores, saying it was important to always make it count when in-form irrespective of the format, as the phase of going out of form is inevitable at some point for a batsman.
“Even though I am a little disappointed that I could not add to the runs on Monday morning, the fact that we are doing well as an India A side is more important,” Agarwal told reporters. He was dismissed of the first ball of the third day as his side piled on 584 for the loss of eight wickets before declaring.
At Stumps on Day 3, India A had knocked over four South Africa A batsmen for less than 100 as wrecker-in-chief Mohammad Siraj claimed all four wickets.
“Siraj has been good with the ball. In fact, we believe in bowling as a unit. Navdeep Saini and Rajneesh Gurbani, also bowled really well," a pleased Agarwal pointed out.
India A need another six wickets on the fourth day, on Tuesday, to complete what is likely to be an emphatic win.
Agarwal, who has been doing well consistently at the domestic level, is yet to make his debut for the senior team.
When quizzed about that, the double centurion shot back, “Earning a call-up or being pre-occupied with that thought is just not possible. We have a lot of games to play and it is important to focus on what’s happening in the present.”
“When it has to happen, the India call-up will surely come by.”
Before the on-going unofficial Test match in Bengaluru, Agarwal was part of the India A tour of England with the legendary batsman Rahul Dravid as the coach. Mayank went on to score three centuries and a half-century in the ten innings that he played.
“It definitely was not the usual English summer, but we learnt a lot and it was a great much needed experience for us. A lot of the team had never played in England, and like Rahul Dravid said these tours will help us improve our cricket,” he explained.
Unfortunately though, Mayank did not have the best outing in the IPL and scored a paltry 120 runs in 11 games for the Kings XI Punjab franchise, but he is not unduly worried given the year he has had.
“Understandably the IPL is a big tournament for all of us, but over the course of the year I have performed badly in one out of five tournaments. I’ll take that all day long,” he says.
“My focus is only on scoring runs and whatever has to happen, will happen,” he signed off.