Mayank Agarwal stamps his authority with maiden Test century

The Times of India

The Times of India

Author 2019-10-03 14:19:00

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  • It took Mayank Agarwal 204 balls to reach three figures
  • Agarwal made his international debut in the toughest of conditions in Australia in the Boxing Day Test last year
  • Mayank's ODI calling came during the World Cup earlier this year when he was added to the squad after Vijay Shankar was ruled out with a toe injury
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NEW DELHI: It may not have come at a pace reminiscent of Virender Sehwag -- the man Mayank Agarwal endeavours to emulate as an opening batsman; but his first international century and that too in his first appearance in whites on home soil will always be special.

It took Agarwal 204 balls to reach three figures, as the first Test between India and South Africa entered its second day in Visakhapatnam on Thursday. Agarwal was 84 not out overnight, having stitched a double-century opening stand with fellow centurion Rohit Sharma. The partnership finally ended at 317 when Rohit was dismissed for 176.


Being prolific comes naturally to the 28-year-old Agarwal, right from his days in the Cooch Behar Trophy and stint for India Under-19, including being India's most prolific batsman in the 2010 Under-19 World Cup.

But Agarwal took time to come out of the shadow of being labelled a short-format batsman only, and the Karnataka man finally made his first-class debut in the 2013-14 Ranji Trophy season.

Four Indian Premier League seasons with Royal Challengers Bangalore, alongside Virat Kohli, saw Agarwal's batting receive further recognition.


But in many ways the wait to make his international debut, which happened later than he would have personally anticipated was perhaps a blessing in disguise. Mayank made the senior India team cut after a grind of 50-odd first-class games and playing more than six years of List A and T20 cricket in the domestic circuit. By then his skills were well-honed.

He made his international debut in the toughest of conditions in Australia in the Boxing Day Test last year, scoring an impressive half-century (76), followed by a solid 42 in the second innings.

"He (Mayank) is a versatile batsman. He always wanted to represent India and in any format. He is a guy - throw challenges to him, he will accept them with a smile,” Agarwal's childhood coach Muralidhar had told Timesofindia.com in an interview.

Mayank's ODI calling came during the World Cup earlier this year when he was added to the squad after Vijay Shankar was ruled out with a toe injury; however, he didn't get a chance to play.

"Honestly, there was a lot to learn from (the) Australia (tour) . It was a big opportunity for me. I wanted to perform and thankfully I did. I am happy that I scored well,” Mayank had said talking to Timesofindia.com before India's tour of West Indies earlier this year.

“I scored 70s in both the Tests (Melbourne and Sydney) and I would like to convert those 70s into 100s.”

However, it wasn't a prolific outing for Agarwal in the Windies, scoring 80 runs, including one half-century, in two Tests.

But with KL Rahul struggling at the top and Dhawan out of favour currently, Agarwal has a great chance to cement his place. A century, of course, is the best way to begin that process.
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