India vs Australia: Mayank Agarwal joins elite list after impressive show at the MCG
Debutant Mayank Agarwal has put himself amongst an elite group of players after putting on good performances in the respective two innings of the third Test against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Saturday.
Agarwal scored a gritty half-century (76) in his first outing in international cricket and then backed it up with a fighting 42 in the second. Agarwal’s show in the second essay was arguably more important than his first as he held the innings together when wickets were falling at regular intervals on the other.
In total, Agarwal scored 118 in this match is the second-highest score by an Indian opener who has made his debut away from home. Agarwal stands only behind the legendary opener Sunil Gavaskar in this illustrious list.
Agarwal’s 42 helped India reach 106/8 in the second innings before India skipper Virat Kohli opted to declare, giving the hosts a target of 399 to chase in the final two days of the Test. India batted 52 minutes and extended their second innings from overnight 54 for five even as threat of rain loomed large.
Earlier, after scoring a fifty in the first innings, Agarwal had revealed that it wasn’t easy for him to keep a check on his emotions on his Test debut.
“It wasn’t easy to get hold of those emotions and focus there, but it needed to be done. I just stuck to my plans and just kept telling myself, “there is a plan that I have to go through and I am just going to stick to that”. Even though it was overwhelming, it was good and I am happy with the way I started,” Agarwal added.
“It’s a big stage, and a big opportunity, and I had the seniors walk up to me, telling that bigger the day, bigger the opportunity to leave a mark,” said Agarwal.