'Rohit Sharma's on-field tips helped Mayank'
- Mayank Agarwal scored a brilliant 215 in the first innings and hit 23 fours and 6 gigantic hits into the stands
- Mayank also became the fourth Indian batsman to convert his maiden century into a double hundred
- His first hundred came off 204 balls and second off 154 balls
Mayank impressed everyone, but the disappointment of not getting to the triple-figure mark was clearly evident on the 28-year-old’s face.
In the three-match Test series against South Africa at home, Mayank was again handed the opportunity to open the innings with the limited-overs king Rohit Sharma at the other end.
And, the Karnataka lad made it big this time.
Featuring in just his fifth Test match, Mayank scored a brilliant 215 in the first innings and hit 23 fours and 6 gigantic hits into the stands. He also became the fourth Indian batsman to convert his maiden century into a double hundred.
“After the double century, he went to the pavilion and called his coach, saying, ‘coach... did you watch it?’ I said I was glued to the TV screen and loved your reaction (celebration) after the double ton.' It was a different Mayank altogether. He wanted to convert his century into a double hundred,” Mayank’s coach Muralidhar told Timesofindia.com in.
“He (Mayank) called me after Day 1's play. He discussed the mindset and the position he was batting in. He said ‘coach, I want to play a big knock’. He discussed the century as well. The first hundred is always special for a batsman. It has a lot of emotions,” he said.
Agarwal kept entertaining the Vizag crowd after Rohit's departure. The 28-year-old’s first hundred came off 204 balls and second off 154 balls.
“I was pretty confident that he will get to his double century. He had a plan in mind after the century. And he executed it well and got the double century,” he said.
“He was brilliant. He batted really well. I am so happy that he played a vital knock in the match and that too against a big side like South Africa. He always wanted to play a big knock and he did that today. It is a special moment for him,” Muralidhar told TimesofIndia.com.
Mayank was involved in a crucial 317-run opening stand with Rohit who scored a magnificent 176 off 244 balls, including 23 fours and 6 sixes.
“Mayank opening with Rohit was a blessing for him. Mayank is lucky that he got to open with a legend (Rohit) on the other end. Rohit made batting look so simple. We all know he is a master in limited-overs cricket. Rohit has proved that he is a master in Tests as well. Rohit was discussing things with Mayank in the middle and kept pushing him. He was guiding and giving him confidence. I could see how Rohit was rotating the strike with Mayank. His on-field tips helped Mayank really well. Rohit's presence in the middle a major help.” Muralidhar said.
“Rohit coming into Test cricket once again will make a huge difference for Indian cricket. It was such a waste to make him sit out. His comeback and that too with a bang, it is going to be a huge plus point for the Indian team. Both Mayank and Rohit have the ability to form a formidable Test opening pair for India in the future,” he said.
Muralidhar also feels Mayank’s Karnataka team-mate KL Rahul, who is going through a lean patch, will find it difficult to make a comeback to the Indian Test side.
“It will be difficult for him (KL Rahul). Things will not be as easy for him. But he is a wonderful cricketer and a lovely talent. He will find a way to make a comeback,” Muralidhar signed off.