Mayank Agarwal has seen a major turnaround in his career in last one month. His domestic season, which was not going well quickly turned into zenith of his career which was no less than a dream for the Karnatak batsman.
He talked about the prime time of his career with Cricbuzz and revealed how words of his skipper Vinay Kumar changed everything for him.
Mayank has 1142 runs in seven games at an average of 126.88. He is just 274 runs behind VVS Laxman's record of 1415 - the most runs in a single edition of the Ranji Trophy.
"I thought I was working hard. Somewhere, after the couple of zeroes, I let go the fear of failure. I had to make peace with the fact that 'It's okay, I can fail'. I have to accept my situation, I have to accept where I am, and once that happened then a lot of things changed mentally. From thereon, I also lost of fear of failure and I thought it was the combination of lot of things coming together for me to do well," Mayank said.
"To be honest, before the game (against Maharashtra) I didn't know whether I would be playing or not, I was quite nervous about that. It was nice to have Vinay Kumar come up to me and speak to me. He said: 'It's fine Mayank. You're going to get your chances. You can't score every match. But make sure that in the game you get set, you make it big, so that you cover up. It was also nice of GK sir. (GK Anil Kumar, assistant coach). Just before the match day we had a net and he came up to me and said, "We're backing you. Just play your game, we're backing you'. That kind of eased some of the nerves when I went in to bat," the opener said.
"And when I went in, I just thought to myself, having let go of the fear of failure, that I'm just going to go out there, give my best and take whatever comes my way. I just kept my approach the same way I do for any other game - looking to get set and from there carry it through. And once I got set, the thing that kept coming in my mind was what Vinay Kumar told me and also the fact that I hadn't got runs. So I knew I've got set, made a decent platform for myself and I had to carry it forward. And then from there I just kept batting for as long as I could and try and extend that for as much as I could.
"If I had to think to myself - two zeroes, nothing could go worse than that, nothing could be as bad as that. So I said: 'the only way is up'. That was one of the methods I used to try and be positive. It's only upward from here. But never thought in my wildest dreams that it would be a triple hundred after that," said Mayank, as he summed up his triple ton.
Agarwal also spoke about India A coach Rahul Dravid's contribution in his success. "The biggest thing that I could pick up from him was during the New Zealand unofficial ODIs. He said, 'Mayank, you're a very intense person and you need to manage your mental energies'. I didn't understand that. He was kind enough to elaborate and when he elaborated, he said that 'If you're going to practice for three days and after you practice you go back and keep just thinking about the game throughout the day, you've already played a three-day match before starting a game.
"Physically, you might have not done that but mentally you're drained out, the mental energy, and that starts taking a toll on the kind of decisions you take during the game'. That was something that I had never looked into and that was a kind of insight or advice that I had never got until that. I think that's making a big difference because now I know when I need to switch off and when I need to start thinking and start preparing," he said of Dravid's advice.
Mayank has played with major IPL teams like Royal Challenger Bangalore and Rising Pune Supergiants. He has shared dressing room with Indian and foreign cricket stalwarts. Last year he had a good run in IPL under Steve Smith.
He spoke about what he took from every team he played for, "If I had to pick something from RCB, playing under Virat Kohli it would be the intensity, the passion and the fight, that's something I learnt when I was playing there. With Delhi, we didn't have the best seasons so it was a lot about handling failures, how to be in the team's space irrespective of the results.
"When it came to Rising Pune Supergiant, we have a great season last year. We missed by a close (margin) but there was a lot to learn from the likes of Mahi bhai, Steven Smith, even Ben Stokes, how he went about his things. How confidently they go about their preparations and how they try and carry that into their games. Something that I could pick up from Mahi bhai was what he said: 'try and control the controllables'. He also explained very nicely what those controllables are."