Indian opener Mayank Agarwal has been compared with Virender Sehwag for his aggressive style of play after his dream Test debut in the just-concluded Test series in Australia.
However, the Karnataka batsman who is overwhelmed by the comparison, but isn’t a fan of comparisons, saying he would be happy if he manages to do even half of what Indian batting great achieved in his illustrious career for his country.
The 27-year-old got the opportunity after Prithvi Shaw was ruled out of the Test series and he brilliantly rose to the occasion with 76 and 42 in his debut match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) and 77 in Sydney to contribute in India’s historic Test series triumph Down Under in Australia.
Agarwal told PTI after returning home on Thursday, “Honestly, I am not a fan of comparisons but he is one of the greats of Indian cricket. I just like to go in the middle, give my best and see what comes out of it. Having said that, if I could do even half of what he (Sehwag) did, I will be happy.”
He could not have asked for better to make his Test debut on Boxing Day Test at MCG, saying: “Definitely, it was (special), to make my debut at the MCG and most importantly, to win the Test series in Australia. We became the first team from the sub-continent to win a series in Australia. There can’t be a better start than this.”
On being asked about his mindset going into the MCG Test, Agarwal said, “I was very excited that I have been called to represent India in Australia in a well-poised series. My thought was I want to be a part of the action than sit out. When I got the call from the selectors, I was very excited. It is a big moment for any cricketer, more so if you do that in MCG on Boxing Day.”
Meanwhile, Agarwal admitted that India A tour of New Zealand, which was coincided with the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, gave him great touch with the willow and that helped him a lot in his debut.
He continued, “I went there with a plan and I am glad it came off for a bit. I thought Australia was a top-class bowling unit. They play their cricket hard and bring out the best in you. You can’t pick out a bowler. Everyone was good and you have to be on top of your game to face them. Playing in New Zealand did help a lot. It was a tremendous learning experience. The conditions weren’t the same but similar to Australia. There was a lot of pace in the wickets and New Zealand A had international bowlers in their line-up. So, it was good that I got to play there before the Australia series.”
Noteworthy, the right-hander was ignored for India selection despite making mountains of runs in domestic cricket and at the A level before Australia call, but Agarwal doesn’t want to think much about that and now he can only feel grateful to get the opportunity to represent his country in Australia.
He further added, “To be honest. I would just like to say that everyone’s journey is different. I cannot compare my journey to somebody else’s. There are things which are beyond your control and I don’t like to focus too much on them. I am just glad and grateful that I have got to represent the country,”
While the next opportunity might come for Agarwal when India play West Indies in Tests after World Cup 2019, but the batsman is not in a hurry to think about that as he is looking forward to give his best in the Ranji Trophy and Indian Premier League 2019.
Agarwal signed off by saying, “See that (West Indies series) is six months away. I don’t want to speak about that but there is a lot of other stuff (Ranji Trophy, A series, and IPL) which is going to happen before that and I am focused on that. I just want go out there and keep performing. Before I left (for home from Australia), they (Kohli and Ravi Shastri) congratulated me on a good performance. They also said that ‘it is a good start’ and were happy with the intensity I showed. I feel good about that and yes, happy with the way things have gone so far.”
(With Press Trust of India Inputs)