Mayank Agarwal determined to grit it out despite snub for Australia Tests

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first_imgIt is often said that a player lets his bat do all the talking rather than sulking over team selection. Mayank Agarwal has been doing this for long now. From all the talk of being in the national selectors’ ‘scheme of things’ to actually making it to the Test team and being left out again, Agarwal is like a surfer who has been bobbing up and down in the ocean of uncertainty.”Every player goes through a different journey. He must understand and accept it. A player should only think about those things which are under his control. If he keeps on performing then sooner or later, he will be rewarded for it,” a philosophical Agarwal tells India Today in an exclusive chat.Mayank Agarwal was part of the Indian Test squad in the two-match series against the West Indies. With the team management handing Rishabh Pant, Hanuma Vihari and Prithvi Shaw maiden Test caps recently, there was anticipation that Agarwal too might get a look-in but it never happened. The wait will only grow longer now after he was not selected in the Test squad for the tour of Australia.”It is very important to leave all the talk aside and focus on your cricket. It feels good and motivating to see all these good things happening (youngsters getting a chance in the Test team) but, as a cricketer, it is very important to stick to your game and stay focused on what is in your hand. We train for it. That is something which we have been practising for that many number of years. I don’t think too much ahead, I like to stay in the present.”advertisementHowever, it’s not all bad news for Agarwal, who is part of the India ‘A’ team for the New Zealand tour.”I think the foreign tours that we are going on now or the other ‘A’ teams coming to India is a great thing to happen to Indian cricket. We are getting great exposure and it is fantastic because the quality of cricket is very good and I also think that it bridges the gap between domestic and international cricket.”The time spent in the Indian dressing room recently would also help Agarwal to keep the fire burning.”It was a wonderful experience for me. To be a part of the Indian Test dressing room and getting a chance to talk to everyone is what every Indian player dreams of. I had a talk with everyone, all of them are so experienced and have different views and different ways to read the game and give valuable insights. It was a great feeling.”Getting a ‘feel’ of dressing room will definitely come in handy but there is one man who he turns to seek advice and inspiration every time.”Rahul Dravid really guides the youngsters very well. He tells us to do a certain thing and then monitors it before giving an advice on the changes need to be done. I have had long talks about batting with him and he helps each individual in a different manner. Having him there is a big plus. He is very, very approachable and has told every player in the set up (from Under-19 or India ‘A’) to pick up the phone and speak to him directly if there is any issue. It is so nice to have a person like Rahul Dravid to guide you.”As Agarwal gets ready for another Ranji Trophy season – he was the top run-getter in 2017 with 1160 runs from eight matches – the conversation veers towards his aggressive approach and youngsters’ style of batting even in Test cricket these days, Prithvi Shaw’s sensational debut ton a case in point. The reason, says Agarwal, is skipper Virat Kohli’s ‘zabardast’ attitude which is rubbing off on youngsters.”Virat is a tremendous, tremendous, cricketer. He wears his heart on his sleeve and plays the game with a lot of intensity. What’s more important is that he sticks to that. He plays to win and is a very fierce cricketer and that is something which rubs off on to other players because the environment is created in such a way that you have to go there and express yourself. Credit to everyone who has added it to this environment. We get the freedom to go out there and play in whatever style is giving you success.”last_img

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