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Treasure Memories of Being in World Cup Squad: Mayank Agarwal

Devadyuti Das |July 24, 2019, 10:38 AM IST
Treasure Memories of Being in World Cup Squad: Mayank Agarwal

The year 2019 has been full of surprises for Mayank Agarwal. He would have never expected a call up for the Indian Test team touring down under if Prithvi Shaw had not got injured ahead of the first Test during a practice session.

The Karnataka opener has been biding his time patiently, scoring tons of runs in domestic cricket and finally managed to break through into the Test squad. In just two Tests, Agarwal has shown enough potential to become No. 1 opener for the side in the longest format of the game.

The biggest surprise for him was the call-up to the ICC World Cup side, albeit to replace an injured Vijay Shankar. Although Agarwal didn’t feature in the playing XI in the tournament, he came back with a lifetime of memories from England.

“Being part of the ODI team and getting the experience of being at the World Cup was a memory to treasure for me. There was a lot to learn from and good that I managed to spend some time with them,” Agarwal told CricketNext.

The West Indies tour follows the World Cup but Agarwal failed to find a place for himself in the ODI squad with Shikhar Dhawan returning to full fitness and selectors picking his Karnataka teammate KL Rahul as the backup opener.

The 28-year-old is focused on preparing himself for the India ‘A’ game against the West Indies ‘A’ for an unofficial Test before he joins the Indian squad for the two-Test series.

“There was a lot to learn from Australia and I have incorporated that into my game. I am practicing and training every day, preparing for the West Indies as it is going to be my first Test trip to the West Indies,” Agarwal, who is part of the India ‘A’ squad for the third unofficial Test beginning on August 6, said.

The Karnataka opener scored 195 runs in the two Tests against Australia and was part of the historic Test series win down under, averages 65 and already has two impressive fifties at the MCG and SCG.

“Everyone knows that I was having a haircut in Bangalore when I got to know that I was selected for the World Cup side. I was busy preparing with the India ‘A’, having a camp with the team in Bangalore preparing for the West Indies when the call-up came,” Agarwal recalled.

Since the end of IPL-12, where he scored 332 runs in 13 games for Kings XI Punjab with two half-centuries, Agarwal has been hitting the gym regularly working on developing his muscles.

“I train almost five days a week at the gym even during the off-season. I have been doing a lot of strength training as well as some power-training before I head to the West Indies. The off-seasons give me time to build on my strength,” he said about his training schedule.

Agarwal feels the experience of playing a long-format game with India ‘A’ will come in handy before the Test series.

“It’ll be great to play couple of games before and experience of playing there before hand will come in handy. I have heard the tracks are not that easy. Never really been there, so I’ll assess the situation after I get there and play on those tracks,” he said.

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