India opener Mayank Agarwal had a defining performance with the bat in the recent Mumbai Test against New Zealand, where he scored 150 and 62 runs. This was his 4th Test century and first after two years for the national team.
With Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul cementing their places at the top of the order, Mayank missed out on the home and away England series. He suffered a concussion ahead of the first Test in England and then KL Rahul took over the position with a resounding century at Lord’s.
Following his return to the playing XI after ten months, Agarwal was asked by Dravid to channel his emotions and mental energy in the right direction. Dravid also backed Agarwal to do good on the technical front as well.
"See, the chat Dravid had with me before the series was that, 'I know you have not got that many runs, but manage your emotions and your mental energy, you are going to be flooded with thoughts. Don't dwell too much on it'.
That was the mental aspect of it. As far as the technical or physical aspect, he told me that 'this is the technique that has brought you a lot of runs, so stick to that, and the runs will come; back the things that have worked for you'. Fortunately the very next Test, the runs came,” Mayank told Sportskeeda.
Despite not doing well in the first Test in Kanpur, Agarwal was named Player of the Match in Mumbai Test for his stupendous performance on a pitch that turned and Kiwi’s Ajaz Patel took 14 wickets including an all 10 wickets in an innings.
Mayank’s performance helped India register their biggest win in terms of runs- 372 in Test cricket in Mumbai.
"I think this series (vs NZ) was very important. For me, the feeling of contributing to the team's win is of the utmost importance. I'm glad that I could put in such a performance that helped the team win,” he added.
Mayank has been named as the backup opener in the Indian squad for the upcoming three Tests in South Africa.