India vs South Africa: Rohit Sharma's on-field tips helped Mayank Agarwal, says coach

TOI

TOI

Author 2019-10-04 14:44:00

Highlights

  • 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
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NEW DELHI: Mayank Agarwal missed out on centuries on two occasions when India toured Australia last year for the four-match Test series. The Karnataka batsman, who had received an SOS call after the regular openers KL Rahul and Murali Vijay were dropped for the MCG Test due to their poor run with the bat in the first two Tests of the series, grabbed the opportunity with both hands and scored a fine 76 in the Melbourne Test and then 77 in Sydney.

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.

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“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.

“It 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.

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“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.

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