Right-hand opening batsman Mayank Agarwal felt the happiest he must have ever been after receiving his maiden call-up to the Indian Test squad on Saturday, September 30, for the upcoming 2-match home Test series against the West Indies.
Agarwal finally got rewarded for his outstanding domestic as well as 'A' performances across all conditions, and says, his mother just couldn't believe and control her emotions on the biggest day of his life yet.
"I switched on news channel and saw it on TV. Acha laga but the problem is that my phone has not stopped ringing. Actually our coach (BP XI) Abhay Sharma had told me earlier but I waited for a confirmation. I’m looking forward to the Test series." said Agarwal in an interview given to Indian Express, "I spoke to my parents, my mother wasn’t able to control her emotions. Also I called up Karnataka captain Vinay Kumar to thank him for backing me when I was about to be dropped from the Ranji team a few years ago. In the next game, I scored 300-odd runs and have not looked back since."
It must have been a year of frustration as well for Agarwal. Having to go through continuous rejection series after series before this one, surely wouldn't have helped him mentally. But he reveals, it is the constant guidance from the India A head coach Rahul Dravid which kept him going and he stayed focussed on scoring runs.
"Rahul bhai (Dravid) told me to focus on what I can control and to be in the present. He told me if I keep performing then what is bound to happen will happen. I always believed that hard work would pay finally." he said and added, "He told me that I have a good work ethic and when someone like Rahul bhai tells you that you are going in the right direction it means a lot. Everyone needs someone senior as a guide and I am thankful that he was there for me."
Agarwal is now looking forward to embrace the present and the future and says, that working hard has got him this far and he'll continue to do so without worrying about the outside voices.
He said, "It’s important to cut off from things. People will come and tell you stuff but it’s up to you to keep those things aside and remain focused on cricket and keep calm." and added before signing off, "My hard work has paid off but there is a long way to go. It is just a start. I will try to keep the same momentum if I get a chance to play for India."