Mayank Agarwal
File photo of Mayank Agarwal

Mayank Agarwal has become the first-choice opener for India in the Tests now. He utilised his chance in the recently concluded West Indies series. After spending a week-long break in between, he has returned in the gym and at nets. However, he recently shared the challenges of international cricket and the importance of domestic cricket with TOI.

While talking about his early steps in International cricket, he said the journey has been wonderful. He has gained a lot of experience as well. However, he is also aware of the fact that everyone has to face a rough patch in their career – be it International career or domestic. To overcome that phase is a real challenge, according to the opener.

“I’m getting a taste of what international cricket is all about. From having a good start to my international career in Australia to facing West Indies in their backyard, totally different from what I expected or thought. I have come to understand international cricket is baptism by fire,” Agarwal said.

He had a good series in the West Indies and for him, it was a good learning experience. He also praised Kemar Roach‘s bowling.

Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul.

“It was a learning curve about personal expectations, different conditions and situations we came across. We played with the Dukes ball, the conditions were hot and it was a great experience to face Kemar Roach, who bowled really well in the series,” he added.

Mayank Agarwal further shared that the Indian team is playing with intensity right now. They are more confident now and looking forward to keeping that momentum.

“We are going out there not only to win matches but win situations, win each session. We understand that individual performances can go through highs and lows, but it is important to keep up the intensity with which we are playing. Also, we are a very confident unit,” said the opener.

Agarwal shared his experience of batting alongside Virat Kohli in the second Test in Kingston when the team was struggling at 46/2. He said that Kohli told him to make a partnership at first. He further added that he learnt the intensity and mindset in terms of the situations from Virat Kohli’s batting. However, he is excited to make his debut in the home soil in the ongoing series against South Africa.

Mayank Agarwal
Mayank Agarwal

“Playing at home is always special and I’m really looking forward to the series. I’m working on what I’ve learnt and I’m eager to go out and put those lessons to use against South Africa and have a good series at home,” he expressed.

Moreover, there are so many players sitting outside and they can anytime take over the responsibility that Mayank Agarwal has as an opener. However, he is not afraid of it as he thinks there are a couple of things which are not in his control.

“I look at it this way: You get a game, go out there, try and put your team in a good position. If you are having a good day, try and win the match for your team. The rest will take care of itself,” added the youngster.

Agarwal credited the domestic cricket for his base. He feels domestic cricket plays a key role in the players’ career as it helps to make the foundation.

“Domestic cricket in my opinion is very important. As a player, you cannot disregard it. Whatever you do, you cannot forget that it is the foundation. There is a lot of grind and situation you go through in domestic cricket, so it teaches you a lot as a person and a cricketer,” he concluded.