Mayank Agarwal hopes to debut at home
Hard work is Mayank Agarwal The foundation. The India Test opener returned to his resort less than 24 hours after arriving in Bangalore, after the West Indies tour. He achieved a one-week break between his wife Aashita in Paris. The 28-year-old returned to work on Friday, spending hours in the gym and on the networks.
Agarwal, who made his debut in India in the Boxing Day Test against Australia in December of last year, he has shown appetite and enthusiasm for the work with three half centuries in seven entries. The Karnataka batter spoke with Times Sportal about the challenges of international cricket and the value of the national calendar.
How would you describe your first steps in international cricket?
It has been an amazing journey. Lots of fun and different experiences. I am testing what international cricket is all about. From having a good start in my international career in Australia to facing the West Indies in their backyard, totally different from what I expected or thought. I have come to understand that international cricket is the baptism of fire. There are times when things go your way, then there are other times when things get difficult. That is international cricket and overcoming those obstacles and entering yours, I think it is the challenge.
What was your biggest conclusion of the West Indies series?
It was a learning curve about personal expectations, different conditions and situations we encountered. We played with the Dukes ball, the conditions were hot and it was a great experience to face Kemar Roach , who played very well in the series. After the series, they (the West Indies players) were kind enough to invite us to their dressing room. We talked to Roach, who gave us a lot of information about cricket and its game.
As a newcomer, did you feel an advantage, an intensity over the Indian team?
As a unit, the Indian team is playing at a very intense level. It is really amazing to see the intensity with which we play. We will go out not only to win games, but to win situations, win each session. We understand that individual performances can go through ups and downs, but it is important to maintain the intensity with which we are playing. In addition, we are a very safe unit. We believe in ourselves and support each other to play the best cricket we can.
You were hitting the side virat Kohli in the second test in Kingston when the team was placed precariously in 46/2. How was that experience?
Virat went into combat about half an hour before lunch. The first thing we talked about was starting up an association. We said: 'Let's not take the risk, grab both ends until lunch and then go out.' So we were tight and cautious. After lunch, Virat was hitting, hitting, hitting and suddenly the bet went up. What I took from Virat's batting is intensity and mentality in terms of how he looks and reads situations. He also brings a lot of energy. He is the guy at the forefront, leading by example. There were so many guys doing the job right, Jinks ( Ajinkya Rahane ), (Hanuma) Vihari. It's great to be involved with a team like this.
Soon you will make your homeland debut ...
Playing at home is always special and I am eager for the series. I learned a lot in Australia, I even learned more in the West Indies. I am working on what I learned and I am eager to go out and put those lessons into practice against South Africa and have a good series at home.
Before the West Indies tour, you played a series 'A' there. How does the 'A' series help?
I think it helps a lot. You can play in conditions as close as possible in a series of tests. Each country is taking quality equipment when you play 'A' team tournaments. Playtime along with the races, experience and understanding gives you a lot of information, knowledge, confidence and comments to go out and play the biggest games. There is no better preparation than the 'A' series.
In teams 'A', there are many players looking to enter the team of India. Will they feed on the energy and ambitions of others?
Insurance. It's great to be in an environment where you always have to be better because there is no room to be casual or accommodating. Not only does it help players, but it also helps cricket in India. I don't think there is competition in the team. We are together, playing with each other, against an opposition.
With so many players pushing through the slot of the openers, do you feel the pressure when you go out to bat?
Not really because it's more about doing what I have under my control. I see it this way: you get a game, you go out, you try to put your team in a good position. If you are having a good day, try to win the game for your team. The rest will fix itself.
How has your work ethic changed after your international debut?
Nothing has changed. It remains the same in terms of preparation and hard work. Probably, I'm just working harder. I think you have to get fit and better. I think I understand my game better now. In addition, I am more mature in terms of how I respond to different conditions and situations. For example, if there is a green or wet wicket, I make better decisions about what strengths to follow.
What is your objective in your training process?
Hard work is my go-to thing. Whenever the chips are down, I always go back to the drawing board and look to work harder. That's what helps me get up and be where I want to be.
You have gone through the tough routine of domestic cricket. Is it still very relevant to you?
I believe in playing many games. Domestic cricket in my opinion is very important. As a player, you cannot ignore it. Whatever you do, you cannot forget that it is the base. There is a lot of routine and situation that you go through in domestic cricket, so it teaches you a lot as a person and cricketer. Personally, he has been a great teacher. When I was younger, there were times when I didn't know if I would play international cricket. It felt like I was in the middle of the sea, but domestic cricket teaches you to keep swimming. That's when you get to know if you have in you put on hard yards.