Indian Test opener spoke on various issues in a free wheeling conversation
Indian Test team's opener Mayank Agarwal has had an excellent start to his career. The 27-year-old batsman debuted against Australia at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground in the third Test of India's 3-1 series triumph against the Aussies. In the two Tests he featured, Agarwal amassed 195 runs, including two fifties, at an average of 65.00.
Agarwal first grabbed headlines with a sensational run at the 2017-18 Ranji Trophy, where at one point he tallied 1,000 runs in under 30 days. During the sensational run, he stitched together scores of 176, 23, a 73-ball 90, 133 not out, 173 and 104 not out.
After returning to India, Agarwal played this season's Ranji Trophy semifinal for Karnataka and spoke at length with Sportstar.
Hailing India's premier domestic competition Agrawal said, "Ranji is a tough competition. By no means is it easy. It is a good, hard-fought season and you are competing against so many players. When you play Ranji Trophy, you are put in so many different situations because you play eight four-day games. If you play the knockouts, that makes it 11 games. You are not playing in one part of the country. You are touring. The kind of exposure, the different wickets in different parts of India is fantastic. It teaches you a lot about yourself and it is not a small tournament where you come, get one or two big scores and get noticed. You have to be consistent over a period of two-and-a-half months."
The Karnataka native remained modest in his new found fame and said that life is pretty much the same since he made his International debut.
"Honestly, nothing much has changed. It’s just that I have got the experience and confidence of playing at the international level." he added.
During the interview, Agarwal re-called his struggling days saying, "I would leave home at around 5.30 in the morning. I like to get up early and train. I would start my training at 6 am. From Electronic City, I would go to my training place and then come to KSCA to train with the Ranji side. After finishing these, I would go to RX Murali’s Academy in Marathahalli [around 15km away] and then take the Outer Ring road to return by 6 p.m."
"...To be honest, I have been lucky in a way that I was brought up with that mindset. The focus has always been to improve every single day. I never thought of it as a daily grind. It was more about where I could improve. Every day is a new day and I would think which part of my batting and training I could improve. If you look to get better at your game, the results will come. It’s a by-product of you getting better as a player." Agarwal reminisced.
India will take on West Indies in their next Test match scheduled for July. With a 7-month layoff, Agarwal was asked if being out of action for so long was challenging.
"It is not only about playing Tests. It is wherever you go and whichever format you play. It is about performing and pushing yourself to be the best you can. There are a few learning experiences. I have learnt a few things while playing international cricket, and I want to come back and put that to use in Ranji Trophy. You need to do your best, play more number of matches and make your team win." he explained.When asked about his chances of representing India in shorter formats, Agarwal said, "My thought process, for the past two years or so, is about going out there and performing. I believe in scoring runs. There are a few things that are not in your control. You should keep doing things that are in your control." he signed off.