My trip has been a bit different from other players: Mayank Agarwal

BENGALURU: India Test Opener Mayank Agarwal The brand's first international season was marked by the confidence that comes from successfully navigating the national cricket routine.

A case study for aspiring cricketers about what it takes to break the 28-year-old glass ceiling, which waited a long time for the limit of India, has made opportunities count. Debuting against Australia in Melbourne on December 26, 2018, Bangalore's talent has played nine tests and has passed two double centuries, a century and three fifties to add 754 races. He finished the year as the sixth best player in the test cricket.

Although he has not yet played limited international matches, he was called as a replacement during the World Cup and for the recent series against the West Indies. Throughout the season, when he was not busy accumulating races for India, he returned to Karnataka's side, helping them retain the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy and win the Vijay Hazare Trophy for over 50 years. In the new year, Mayank will continue his international career in New Zealand, where, according to him, the focus and objective will remain the same, to contribute to the success of the team. In an interview with TOI, the batting sensation opened in its first year at the top level.

Excerpts ...

At the end of the season among the 10 best runners in the test cricket:

It has been a great learning curve. There have been some tremendous experiences. To be honest, when I was selected on the test team or played my first game, I never thought about what I had to do. I only took one game at a time, lowered my head and gave my best shot every time, every day. It feels great to contribute to the team. More importantly, the most satisfying thing is that India is the number 1 team in the world.

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The biggest takeaway of the year:

It is difficult to draw one of the biggest conclusions. Being able to go out and play with the colors of India has obviously been special. We have had great victories and I carry those memories with me. I really enjoyed my year as an international cricket player.

In which coup was more special, 215 against South Africa or 243 against Bangladesh:

Both of them. Honestly, I am not a man for comparisons. Each entry had its own importance. When I got my first double hundred, it was obviously special. So getting the next double hundred in the next series was excellent. For me, he reiterated the fact that when I am ready, I am scoring great and contributing to the success of the team.

How much has your long season helped you in domestic cricket?

I think I would say that my trip has been different from many others. I liked it a lot. Yes, I had to play many national games, which in hindsight has helped me a lot. Playing those games helped me to be a better player.

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In the opening with three different hitters in seven tests:

It does not require adjustment because you are opening with high quality players. You understand your game and they understand theirs. Therefore, it is more about communication and having a good relationship with each of them.

In Rohit Sharma as an opening partner:

It was the first time I opened with him. We just talked about plans, we had plans for each bowler. We didn't think too much, instead, we took it just as it came and went ball by ball. It was great to have such a large opening association (317 against South Africa in Visakhapatnam) with him at our first opening stand. I enjoyed playing with him and seeing how he dominated the spinners. From the end of the non-forward, you could see that the players were fighting. The good balls were being hit by four and the bad balls were being punished anyway.

In switching from one format to the other:

Understanding your game becomes very important when you change format. Knowing when to take risks and read situations is the key. When you play 50 overs, there is more time than you think. The risk can be much more calculating because you have 300 balls to play. That does not happen in the T20. The most essential thing is to understand your game and see what shots you can play in that particular wicket and what you can't play. Then, simply have the mental discipline to continue doing that.

In going back to domestic cricket after international assignments:

I think it's about winning tournaments, playing more games and contributing wherever you go. It keeps me going. Yes, I have thought about the breaks, but every time I leave a series of tests, Karnataka is playing a quarter-final or a semi-final of a national competition. So, obviously, you want to be part of the state side for which you played since your younger days and contribute as much as you can in any way. That said, all the time you have to know how much your body can support. Then, you strive only as much as you can.

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