India’s star opener Mayank Agarwal, who scored his fourth Test century on Day 1 of the second Test match against New Zealand at the Wankhede Stadium, in Mumbai, has impressed one and all with his brilliant batting skills and immense fighting spirit on-field.
Agarwal was going through a rough patch in his career and there were question marks about his place in the playing XI of the Indian side however the right-hander gave a solid reply, letting his bat do all the talking. He remained unbeaten on 120 as India reached 221 for 4 at stumps on Day 1.
After the match, it was learned that the legendary Indian batter Sunil Gavaskar had a word with Mayank Agarwal before the start of the Mumbai Test. Gavaskar had told Mayank to keep his bat low at the start of his innings. For the unversed, Agarwal has a tendency to keep a high backlift, which has created trouble for the cricketer more often than not.
Mayank Agarwal, while speaking in a virtual press conference after the match, talked about his performance and how Gavaskar’s advice helped him. He revealed:
“He told me that I should consider keeping the bat a bit low initially in my innings. I have a tendency to hold it high. I couldn’t make that adjustment in this short period of time,”
“When he was saying, I noticed his shoulder position and basically picked up that I need to be more side on,”
During his innings on Day 1, Mayank Agarwal smashed four sixes off left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel, who was sensational with the ball, having dismissed four top wickets already. Talking about the same, Mayank stated that it was a “conscious decision”. He said:
“He was bowling exceedingly well. But each time anything was in our half (our arc), the plan was to be a bit more attacking. Anything that came a little towards us in length, we were going to go for it.
“He had that phase when he tied us down, so it was a conscious decision to make it count when we could or each time he bowled it in our spot,”
Talking further about his performance, he revealed that his inning was more about “grit and determination”. He said:
“That is something I have thought about, but this innings was more about grit and determination, just to stick with the plan, be disciplined. I know I didn’t look good sometimes but I got the job done,”
“How we start is crucial, the focus is that. The first session we want to play it out, the wicket is going to get harder and harder to bat on.”