'One failure adds up to worry and that gets bigger': Agarwal's childhood coach on his struggles after getting dropped
- Mayank Agarwal, who has scored just 88 runs in his last four Test matches, would be eager to comeback strong in England.
As an Indian cricketer, the pressure to perform continuously is always on as there are numerous other players waiting in line to take the very same spot. As long as you're producing the goods, you're safe. However, you start living at the cusp the moment you no longer do. And once dropped, the return journey can be quite a toil.
Ask Team Indian opener Mayank Agarwal, who is currently going through a lean patch. He featured in three of the four Tests against Australia Down Under and scored a meager 78 runs in total. After the first two Tests, he was dropped for the third match in Sydney as the management decided to bring in Shubman Gill. Due to multiple injuries in the camp, Agarwal got a chance in the playing XI but as a middle-order batsman.
For someone who has scored heavily while opening with Rohit Sharma, that must have come as a huge blow. But that's not it; that Gabba Test in early 2021 is the only Test match Agarwal has played in 2021 as he didn't feature in the four-match Test series against England despite being in the squad.
For obvious reasons, the pressure of not getting game-time and the frustration of not performing well enough was going to take a toll on the Karnataka batsman. And it did.
In a chat with InsideSport, Mayank Agarwal's childhood coach spoke about how the opener began to doubt himself after being dropped from the Test team.
"It’s all about the mindset. You suddenly start creating doubts in your mind when it doesn’t match up. It takes you to a different spin altogether and you completely lose out on the mental process that you once created. It takes you to a mode when you start doubting everything. That’s what happened with Mayank." said RX Murali.
Murali also remarked that that players are getting more anxious about their place in the team with serious competition for places.
"There is a lot of anxiety in a sportsperson. In sports, there are more failures than success. When you are anxious about failing and know that there is a lot of competition and if you don’t perform, you are out, that adds up more. One failure adds up to worry and that gets bigger and bigger and you completely lose out on the process," said Murali.
Right-hander Agarwal was last seen in action during IPL 2021. Before the tournament was indefinitely suspended due to the Covid-19 crisis in the country and an outbreak in the franchise bio-bubbles, Mayank amassed 260 runs for Punjab Kings in seven matches, including a spectacular 99 not-out.
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).