Mayank Agarwal feels blessed to have got the opportunity to make his Test debut for India at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in the Boxing Day Test on Wednesday (December 26).
However, Agarwal made decent Test debut against Australia, as he scored a fluent 76 on the opening day of the third Domain Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, but the opener was hoping for more, saying he would have liked to score more and stay unbeaten at the end of the day at MCG.
The Karnataka batsman credited the Ranji Trophy for making him a better player having made his first-class debut in 2013, while the 2017-18 Ranji season was the breakthrough one for him, as he amassed 1,160 runs in just 13 innings at an average of 105.45, which earned for him Test call for the Australia series.
Agarwal told reporters in the post-match conference, “I am lucky to make my debut at MCG, I did everything that was required of me in Ranji Trophy, learned a lot from playing Ranji in last 5 years, playing in different conditions in different centers.”
On being asked about the MCG track, the opener said, “No complaint about the pitch. It was good to bat on, did do a bit early on and was a bit slow. But as the day went on it got quicker. Obviously, I didn’t think too much about the wicket, I wanted to stay blank and take every ball as it comes.”
The 27-year-old opener became the second Indian to score a fifty on debut in Australia but wished for more, saying: “I am happy but I would have liked to score more. I would take 76 but I would have liked to score more and stay unbeaten at the end of the day.”
On debut, Agarwal said, “It was a tremendous feeling to get the cap, lot of emotions and something I’ll cherish for rest of my life. It wasn’t easy to get hold of emotions, it needed to be done and I stuck to the plan. It (making debut) was overwhelming and happy with the way I started.”
Commenting on his opening partnership with Hanuma Vihari, Agarwal said, “I am opening batsman and I was preparing for it (the debut) for some time now. Vihari is a good player, he has tons of runs at Ranji Trophy and ‘A’ cricket, including a triple hundred while batting at No. 3. We started off well, we might not have a big score but played out a lot of balls.”
The debutant also believes that India is in a strong position in the third Test and if the rest of the batsmen can build on the solid start, the touring side can put more pressure on Australia at MCG.
Agarwal signed off by saying, “If the batters can do what we have been doing today, the bigger the score, the more pressure we can put. It’s nice to have guys who can bat long, we are doing that, the longer we bat and better for us.”
(With Cricketnext Inputs)