Mayank Agarwal recalls words of wisdom from Dravid, Gavaskar after Player of the Match performance

Mayank Kumar

Mayank Kumar

Author| Dec 6, 6:28 AM

Image: Twitter
Image: Twitter

Mayank Agarwal has been adjudged Player of the Match for a big 150 in the first innings and following that up with another splendid half-century in the second innings on a pitch where all New Zealand batsmen and even Indian batsmen found it tough to negotiate for a long time.

He would have been competing with Ajaz Patel, who took a staggering 14 wicket-haul in the game and tried to keep New Zealand in the game for as long as possible. However, he was the lone man standing for the hosts and Mayank Agarwal turned out to be the difference between the sides on a pitch where balls were turning square from the very first day.

He expressed his jubilation at coming back to form and scoring runs at the top of the order. Notably, there were question marks over his future after twin failures in Kanpur where he struggled against Tim Southee and Kyle Jamieson.

"Feels nice to be among the runs, this knock will be special for me," he said in the post-match presentation.

He was asked about the adjustments in the technique he made after the failures in Kanpur and he rejected the claim citing a discussion with the coach Rahul Dravid, who backed him to play with his own technique rather than changing the style midway through the series. He said that Dravid backed him by saying that his style of play has earned him runs in the past and rather he should focus on the mental aspect of his game.

However, he did make some tweaks in his technique after suggestions from Sunil Gavaskar, who suggested that he was not getting side on to counter the away going deliveries and also that his backlift was too high to play with soft hands.

Having delivered big runs in Mumbai, he has earned the right to be in India’s squad for the tour of South Africa, at least as a backup opener and he relished the prospect of the challenges that may come his and India’s way in the rainbow nation.

"Very honestly, did nothing different after Kanpur. It was about having mental discipline. Rahul bhai told me there's no point thinking about technique mid-series. 'This is the technique that has got you runs, have a solid mindset, stick to your game plans, the runs will come. Sunny G told me to keep my bat low, be more side-on. I couldn't do that early on but it helped.

 I wasn't really thinking of a century in each innings, but yes definitely should've converted the 60. A different challenge in SA, we relish as a team."

  • Mayank Agarwal
  • NZ vs IND 2021

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