Australia vs India: Mayank Agarwal eclipses 71-year-old record on debut

Australia vs India: Mayank Agarwal eclipses 71-year-old record on debut

He scored 76 off 161 balls in his first ever outing for India.

Mayank Agarwal
Mayank Agarwal. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

His waiting period had been far too long. Despite scoring tons of runs in domestic cricket, Mayank Agarwal was failing to get that much-anticipated India call. But eventually, he did against Australia in Melbourne and made full use of the opportunity. In fact, the 27-year-old also created a record by becoming the Indian with the highest score on debut on Australian soil by scoring 76. The previous best by an Indian batsman Down Under was 51 by Dattu Phadkar way back in 1947.

Agarwal-Vihari partnership gives India a good start

The stage was set for Mayank Agarwal at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) where he was assigned the task of opening the innings with Hanuma Vihari, a stop-gap opener, after two of India’s regular ones – KL Rahul and Murali Vijay – were dropped for their poor form. The new combination put on 40 runs for the first wicket before Vihari fell for eight following which Agarwal added 83 runs with Adelaide centurion Cheteshwar Pujara in 36 overs before nicking one to wicket-keeper Tim Paine off the bowling of pacer Pat Cummins.

Agarwal’s batted for 161 balls and his knock included eight fours and one six. Earlier, captain Virat Kohli won the toss and elected to bat. Thanks to the openers’ effort, India are placed comfortably at the moment with the skipper batting with Pujara. Opening partnership has remained a perennial problem for India, especially in overseas tours, where quick early wickets have put the middle order under immense pressure to perform.

Agarwal, who hails from Bengaluru, has been one of the country’s most consistent scorers in the domestic cricket but was not getting the call for national duty. Now with Shikhar Dhawan discarded from the longer format and Rahul and Vijay losing their places because of poor performance, an opportunity for Agarwal was on its way.

The return of an injured Prithvi Shaw who has been ruled out of the current series could see Agarwal pairing up with his India ‘A’ mate up the order in the national team.

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