'It gave him the template to work on': Mayank Agarwal's coach details his journey to redemption after Team India snub
- After a poor Test series against Australia and warming the bench at home against England, Mayank Agarwal showed glimpses of his capability during IPL 2021.
Team India batsman Mayank Agarwal has endured a rough phase with the bat in the last few months. During the Test series Down Under against Australia, Mayank did not feature in all four matches. He played the first two and was dropped for the third after multiple poor outings. Due to multiple injuries in the camp, he was brought in for the final game at the Gabba but was not made to bat in his usual position- the opening slot. He played as a middle-order batsman as the management decided to prefer Shubman Gill at the top.
One thing led to another. Since Karnataka batsman Agarwal scored a meager 78 runs in three matches, he fell out of favour during the home series against England. Gill opened the batting with Rohit Sharma in all four matches as Mayank warmed the bench.
This was bound to take a toll on him...and it did. His childhood coach RX Murali, in a chat with InsideSport, revealed the mental block Agarwal bore after the snub. However, there was some redemption in the now-suspended IPL 2021.
Agarwal, while opening the batting for his franchise Punjab Kings, scored 260 runs at an average of 43.3 in seven games. Before the IPL season was indefinitely postponed due to the Covid-19 crisis in India and multiple outbreaks in franchise bio-bubbles, Agarwal showed glimpses of what he is really capable of. After all, he was the Indian team's mainstay at the top of the order before the pandemic brought all cricketing action to a halt in 2020.
Murali revealed how the two of them worked on the mental side of his game before the T20 tournament
“He already has the technique. All he needs is confidence. IPL performances definitely boosted his confidence massively. Before IPL, we worked on the mental aspects and it succeeded in the tournament. It gave him the template to work on as it is a continuous process," Murali said.
Mayank is currently under quarantine in Mumbai as he's a part of India's jumbo squad for the England tour. Even though he will fly to England with the Indian squad for the World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand and a five-match Test series against the hosts, it will be interesting to see whether the management persists with Shubman Gill, who was uninspiring during the home Test series (119 runs in 4 matches and in IPL 2021 (132 runs in 7 matches).