1160 runs in Ranji Trophy with five centuries at 105.45, 258 runs Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy and a record 723 runs at 90.37 in Vijay Hazare Trophy are just some numbers that Karnataka’s Mayank Agarwal managed to notch up in this domestic season.
Currently the toast of the nation, Mayank Agarwal’s exclusion from the Nidahas T20 Tri-series sparked mass outrage with cricket fans calling for his inclusion in the team for the T20 series. His run in the Vijay Hazare Trophy has been innings of 109, 84, 28, 102, 89, 140, 81 and 90l taking his domestic run total to 2,141 in 30 innings, beating Shreyas Iyer’s two year old record of 1947 runs.
Mayank Agarwal was interviewed by Times of India, and here are some excerpts from the interview.
Talking about his preparations for this season, Mayank said, “I worked very hard during the off season and that gave me a better understanding of my game. That gave me additional confidence. To know that I understood my game better was a really nice feeling. But I never expected the season to go the way it did. It’s quite tricky, to be honest. Having your role cut out always helps. The basics remain the same. It’s the mindset and how you use the practice sessions in between formats that is crucial.”
Mayank had scored two zeroes at the start of season and he talked about letting go of the failure, saying, “Two zeroes are not any sort of contribution, but when you win the side can look at a player and say ‘he’s batting well, we can give him another go’. When I got those two zeroes, as a player I let go of the fear of failure. In my head, there was nothing worse that could happen. You never know what will happen next, but letting go of the fear of failure helped. I told myself ‘this is as low as you can go, it can only be upwards and onwards from here.”
He added, “I would really like to thank the management and the selectors for backing me at that time, and a special thanks to my captain Vinay Kumar. He came up to me and told me that it was alright, that everyone goes through this and that I needed to once I got set I value my wicket and score big. He told me that nobody likes the feeling of not scoring runs, and so that when I started to score runs, I make sure I made it big.”
Talking about his amazing Ranji Trophy season, Mayank said, “To be honest, I never thought about the season and how it would pan out. Once I started getting runs it was about making every innings count. And not count for myself, but for the team. Every time we were in a tough situation it was about someone or the other putting their hand up in those conditions and seeing the team through. In the Karnataka dressing room, we’ve always spoken about how those players who are doing well need to carry the team through during tough times. Not everyone is going to perform in a game, so the guys who get set or who are doing well should make sure they finish the job.”
He also said, “I think that is very important. Staying in the present is something cricket has taught me. That is easier said than done, however. But trying to be in those moments, blocking out what is not in your control is something you can try and do, and in my case it worked wonders. That is something that top cricketers speak about. That’s something I have learnt.”
Talking about the contribution of IPL in his development as a cricketer, Mayank remarked, “The IPL has been a tremendous learning experience. Sharing dressing rooms with stalwarts who have succeeded in international cricket and who continue to do so is amazing. The stuff of dreams. It depends what you can pick up from them and add on to your game, but for a youngster, getting that opportunity to learn has been great.”
He was excited to play for KXIP in IPL 2018 and said, “I am very excited. Totally geared up. A new franchise for me, but they’ve been there for ten years and that excites me … to get the chance for a team like Kings XI Punjab is special.”