Test Cricket in 2021- What lies ahead for Mayank Agarwal ?
The ongoing ICC Test Championship is entering its business end and turning heads. the Final will be played in June 2021 at Lords, in London.
India currently stands at the number 2 spot on points table and Mayank Agarwal plays an important role when it comes to their journey ahead in the Test Championship. He is certainly a player to look out for in 2021.
Where it began:
Mayank Agarwal was born in Bangalore, Karnataka on 16 February 1991. Agarwal was noticed for his series of good performances in the Under-19 Cooch Behar Trophy in 2008-09. He followed it up with a phenomenal run at the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup where he emerged as the top run getter for India.
Mayank Agarwal took guard when the Indian Test team looked quite settled and there was very little scope for a youngster to make the in-roads. He played Indian Premier League for Royal Challengers Bangalore from 2011-2013 as an opener. Playing for Bangalore, he got off to many good starts but could not convert them into bigger scores. He was swapped by Franchises, dropped in favour of other batsmen and sometimes simply ignored.
Tuning into his best version:
In November 2017, Mayank scored a maiden triple century in first class cricket against Maharashtra. He lit up the 2017-2018 Ranji Trophy season with few breathtaking knocks and ended up becoming the leading run scorer of the season with 1,160 to his belt. For this, he was awarded the Madhavrao Scindia Award for the Highest run scorer in Ranji Trophy by the BCCI. Mayank carried on his good form in domestic cricket to Vijay Hazare Trophy where he scored 723 runs in 8 matches. It proved to be one of the most successful domestic season ever recorded by an Indian batsman.
After a great run in domestic season, it was inevitable that Mayank Agarwal would feature in the Indian Test Squad. In September 2018, he was named in the India’s Test squad against West Indies but did not get a chance to play. In December, Mayank was again selected to represent India in a series against Australia. He only got a chance to play after Prithvi Shaw pulled out due to injury. On 26 December 2018, Agarwal made his Test debut against Australia and scored 76 important runs in the first innings. This was by far the highest score by an Indian cricketer on Test debut against Australia on their soil. Mayank grabbed his chance well and scored 195 runs throughout the series.
His First Test Match century came against South Africa where he impressed one and all by converting the hundred into a double hundred before being dismissed for 215 runs. The innings included 23 fours and 6 sixes. It looked like an innings that Virender Sehwag would play in his prime and many viewers would have slipped into Nostalgia witnessing it. His second test hundred came in the 2nd Test against South Africa. Doing so, he became the second Indian opener after Virender Sehwag to score back to back hundred against South Africa on their home turf.
One more Double:
Within a year from his debut, Mayank Agarwal hit his second double ton in only his eighth Test Match at Indore against Bangladesh. His score read 243 runs in 330 deliveries that included eight towering sixes. In doing so, he surpassed the record of Donald Bradman to become the second fastest batsman to score two double hundreds. In December 2020 , during the first Test against Australia, Mayank became the third fastest Indian to reach 1000 runs in Test Cricket and you would have had better luck playing 5slotsites than predicting that one!
IPL Form and a Regular Opener in Tests:
Mayank carried on his good form into IPL 2020 where he amassed 424 runs in 11 games at an average of 38.54 and a staggering strike rate of 156.45. He scored the first hundred of IPL 2020 against Rajasthan Royals and played a key role in Punjab’s success in the league games.
In the current tour of Australia, Mayank Agarwal made it into the ODI team for the first two matches but failed to convert the starts he got. In the first test against Australia, he made ordinary scores of 17 and 9 runs respectively in first and second innings.
Despite a weak start to the tour, Mayank Agarwal carries the reputation of changing the course of the series with just one good performance. He is India’s trump card for its journey in the ICC Test Championship and we hope he will be able to hit the form back against Australia in the second Test.
©Cricket World 2020