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India’s next Test series sometime away but Mayank Agarwal is not resting

The player was happy to play at least one game in the Ranji Trophy.

Mayank Agarwal
Mayank Agarwal. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Mayank Agarwal wouldn’t have expected the opportunity to make international debut coming his way the way it did. The talented opening batsman from Karnataka did whatever he could to get the national call but the opening came when Prithvi Shaw missed out on the Test series in Australia because of an injury and other openers failed to impress. Agarwal made his debut in the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne and hit 76 on debut, the highest by an Indian in Australia, bettering the previous best of 51 registered way back in 1947.

Mayank improved his highest Test score in the very next Test in Sydney when he made 77 and with two fifties in as many matches, the soon-to-turn 28-year-old batsman averages 65 in the longer format. Mayank, who buried India’s prolonged concerns over the poor form of the opening batsmen, played a crucial role behind India registering their maiden Test series victory in Australia.

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However, with not much Test coming up in this season of the IPL and World Cup, the batsman has gone back to the roots, i.e., domestic cricket to ensure that his skills do not lose the edge. Mayank has already played a domestic game for his state team in the semi-final of the Ranji Trophy. He scored 46 in the game against Saurashtra although Karnataka lost the match. But the player was happy to play at least one game in the prestigious domestic tournament to which he attaches a lot of importance.

Mayank attaches importance to Ranji Trophy

“Ranji is a tough competition. By no means is it easy. It is a good, hard-fought season and you are competing against so many players. When you play Ranji Trophy, you are put in so many different situations because you play eight four-day games,” Mayank was quoted as saying by Sportstar.

“If you play the knockouts, that makes it 11 games. You are not playing in one part of the country. You are touring. The kind of exposure, the different wickets in different parts of India is fantastic.”

Though he belongs to an era when slam-bang cricket is the order of the day, Mayank has not lost sight of the basics. According to him, Ranji Trophy teaches a cricketer a lot of things and if one aspires to play long innings in Tests – whether in India or abroad – then playing in Ranji gives a fair assessment about one’s own ability.

“Is your fitness up to the mark? Are you mentally present in the eighth game as you were in the first game? All these things help,” the Karnataka-batsman added.

India’s next full-fledged Test tour is in July- August when they travel to the Windies but the dynamic Mayank wants to make use of all the time and opportunity he has meanwhile to ensure that he builds on his dream debut in international cricket.

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