Mayank Agarwal has been prolific form in the Duleep Trophy 2016
Karnataka batsman, Mayank Agarwal, has impressed one and all with his prolific batting display for India Blue in the Duleep Trophy 2016. The opener, who has often been compared with Virender Sehwag for his attacking style of batting, amassed 420 runs in 3 games in the Duleep Trophy 2016. Impressive batting performances from Mayank, Gautam Gambhir and Sheldon Jackson lead India Blue to a victory in the Final against India Red. Mayank plays for Delhi Daredevils (DD) in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Right after the Duleep Trophy Final, Circle of Cricket met with star batsman Mayank Agarwal for an exclusive interview in which he spoke about his recent form, Pink ball and the upcoming Ranji Trophy.
Q) You have been brilliant throughout the Duleep Trophy tournament. How do you feel about it? Has it given you enough confidence to do well in the upcoming Ranji Trophy?
A) It has given me a lot of Confidence. I had a plan in mind and I wanted to bat session by session and play a lot of balls. Once I started hitting the ball well, it made me go for a longer innings. Itâ€™s been a great start to the season for me.
Q) Considering the fact that you have been an attacking batsman all your life, what are the things that you do differently for the longer formats of the game?
A) The basics for all kinds of cricket remains the same. The technique remains the same too. It is just that you need to work on your shot selection. In a T20 game, you take the element of risk and play a few more strokes. In a 4-day game, you reduce them and try to bat for a long duration of time. Thatâ€™s the biggest change you do I believe.
Q) Would like to know a little about the Pink ball from you. Has batting been easy with the pink? Is it a lot different from the other balls?
A) Yeah, most definitely it is different because the pink ball swings initially for a first few overs. On these tracks, it has not swung a lot which makes batting a lot easier. This ball does not reverse swing here and it is a little heavier, thus comes to the bat nice and hard.
Q) Tell us a little about the Shaheed Vijay Singh Pathik Sports Complex which was the venue for all the Duleep Trophy games? How did the wicket behave throughout the season?
A) To be honest, in the first game the wicket had a decent amount of grass cover so the swung a lot but later on the ball did not really swing. The Pink ball hasnâ€™t really swung here in India as much as it has in the other countries. Gauti Bhai (Gautam Gambhir) had told us that it is mind over matter and we need to face the ball like any other.
Q) Since you already mentioned about Gautam Gambhir, could you throw some light to his impact on the India Blue team and in the dressing room?
A) I think he is a very intense person when it comes to playing cricket. It all or nothing for him all the time. Itâ€™s very clear from his attitude and discipline too. He has been an experienced campaigner for India and has won a lot of trophies for India as well. Luckily we have batted together in the tournament a few times and shared good partnerships. He has helped us all along about different situations of the game.
Q) Moving from the Duleep Trophy to Indian Premier League (IPL) season 9. How was your experience with the young Delhi Daredevils team with an experienced support staff?
A) I think with the new coaching staff, I felt the dressing room was very calm, not saying it wasnâ€™t when Gary (Kirsten) was around, but it was pretty calm and we really had fun. It is a young team which was hungry to do well. We definitely worked hard for the kind of performance we had in the tournament.
Q) Which Is your favorite format in Cricket?
A) I would not say that I have a favorite. I simply love to play cricket and enjoy the game irrespective of the format. I like playing all of them. It is about coming to the ground and giving your best on the field.
Q) What are things that you like doing apart from Cricket?
A) I like to play and watch a lot of football, watch movies, chill with friends. If we have a long lay-off then we go for a vacation with my family.
Q) Since you love playing football, which is your favourite player and team?
A) My favourite has always been Thiery Henry and my number is 14. And of course, i am a big fan of Arsenal.
Q) How are you preparing yourself for the upcoming Ranji season?
A) We are lucky enough to have a very good pre-season in Karnataka as we play a lot of matches before the season starts. It helps us to prepare better. I Have been working hard on my fitness. We also see what we need to improve on from what we did in the last season and access our game. We work on the technique when we a month or so off and try learning a new stroke. It is a lay-off time which helps improve our game.
Mayank Agarwal with Team Circle Of Cricket