Robin Uthappa reveals how Vinay Kumar's motivational words helped Mayank Agarwal improve leaps and bounds
Kolkata, Oct 4: Mayank Agarwal is basking in the glory after becoming the first Indian opener in 10 years to notch up a double century in a Test match. Virender Sehwag was the last opener to have slammed a double ton back in 2009.
Now former India opener Robin Uthappa has revealed how former Karnataka captain R Vinay Kumar encouraged an out-of-form Mayank Agarwal, who was facing an axe from the state squad, which helped the top-order batsman improve leaps and bounds ever since. Agarwal on Thursday (October 3) became the fourth Indian to convert his maiden Test century to a double hundred.
India vs South Africa, 1st Test: Highlights: Mayank Agarwal makes double hundred as India in command
"I remember we contemplated dropping him from a Ranji game but when (captain) R Vinay Kumar gave him a push (motivational words), he scored a triple hundred and did not look back from there," Uthappa said on the sidelines of a Kolkata Knight Riders promotional programme.
He went on to score his maiden triple century in first-class cricket when he made 304 not out as they thrashed Maharashtra by an innings and 136 runs in Pune, November 1-4 Ranji fixture. Agarwal struck 215 as India scored a massive 502 for seven declared to take a grip of the opening Test against South Africa in Visakhapatnam.
Mayank Agarwal becomes fourth Indian batsman to convert maiden Test ton into a double century
"He will only get better with more opportunities. This will give him a lot of confidence," Uthappa said.
Uthappa also lavished praise on Rohit Sharma, who scored 176 from 244 deliveries in his first innings as a Test opener, terming him one of the best batsmen of the world.
"He has always done well in India and abroad. In white-ball cricket, he dominates the scene right now. He is arguably one of the best batsmen in the world," Uthappa said of Rohit.
India Vs South Africa, 1st Test: Rohit Sharma-Mayank Agarwal pair breaks 22-year-old opening record
Rohit had a stupendous World Cup campaign earlier as he finished with the most runs in India's semifinal exit.
"He has reached a point in his career where he understands his batting really well and knows what works for him. Given that situation, he must be going through a huge surge in confidence." "I think he has figured out opening the batting and this opportunity came at the right moment for Rohit to capitalise on it. So it's not a surprise that he is successful," Uthappa said.
Uthappa, however, did not want to compare Sharma with that of Virender Sehwag. "Viru pa would demolish the ball while Rohit caresses it. The way they go about dealing with bowlers is vastly different but the aggressive nature is the common factor."
(With inputs from PTI)