After an extended wait, Mayank Agarwal finally earned his Test cap against Australia in the Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on the 2018/19 tour. The right-hander, who says that Rahul Dravid played a huge role in keeping him motivated, responded with a measured 76-run knock.
In 17 innings so far, he has scored 974 runs at an average of 57.29 with three centuries at the top of the order. However, on his latest assignment in New Zealand he managed only one half-century in four Test innings.
“I was getting runs you know. I got massive runs that Ranji Trophy season and for India A. I did have a word with Rahul bhai. I told him I was getting thoughts of sometimes not getting picked,” Agarwal told Sanjay Manjrekar in a videocast on ESPNcricinfo.
But he had to endure a long wait to get there having performed consistently in the domestic circuit for Karnataka. That’s when former India captain Dravid, doing duty as the A team coach, helped Agarwal with his wisdom.
“I very clearly remember him telling me ‘Mayank these are the things that are in your hands. You have worked hard, you have gotten here. You are as close as you can get. Selection is not in your hands’.
“And I totally agreed with him. Theoretically you understand that but practically it’s not easy.
“But he put forth few things - ‘What is to say that the coming October and November is not going to be different from September. If you think otherwise you will get into a negative mind frame it’s you who is going to lose out and nobody else’. So I remembered that talk and that kept me going,” Mayank added.
“When I got the call I was elated and I called him up and thanked him.”
The opener has already notched up two double centuries for India in Tests and has been able to add much needed solidarity at the top of the order in the last couple of years.