'I played the situation better'

For a guy who showed plenty of promise as a teenager but has ended up achieving far less than some of his more famous contemporaries, Thursday's unbeaten double century would definitely bring about lots of cheer.

Half a decade ago, Mayank Agarwal displayed as much promise as K L Rahul and Karun Nair. But while the latter two have gone on to wear the senior national colours and made a name for themselves, Agarwal is still searching for that big break, thanks to his inconsistency.

India's highest scorer at the Under-19 World Cup in 2010, Agarwal automatically earned a call-up to the India 'A' side soon but thereafter his career graph just took a plunge. He made his Ranji Trophy debut for Karnataka in the 2013-14 season but ended up being benched halfway through the next season.

A dashing opening batsman who modelled himself on the great Virender Sehwag, Agarwal's problem was judgement. He only knew how to accelerate, the failure to press the all-important brake when necessary often causing his downfall. Just two centuries in 31 first-class matches in a total aggregate of 1788 runs at an average of 36.48 - prior to this game against Maharashtra - is indeed a poor return for his potential.

This season too Agarwal looked like becoming a victim of his own ego. He was out for a pair in the previous game against Hyderabad and with many batsmen knocking on the doors, Agarwal was under pressure to deliver. Unlike the past, he showed a rare side of himself on Thursday. He put his head own and played according to the situation before composing a patient 219 not out.

"Last season was little hard. But it's in the past and you don't want to be thinking too much about the past. I need to focus on what's happening right now and take my game forward," said a delighted Agarwal.

A man of few words, Agarwal said he has learnt the lessons from the past and is willing to slug it out whenever necessary. "I'm happy with the way I batted today and just want to continue batting like this. I guess you have to play the situation.

"In the first hour, I thought they bowled well. They bowled a tight line and didn't give me loose balls and I said to myself that if I'm not getting the loose balls, I'm just going to grind it out. I'm just going to take it as it comes. Look to play the situation, look to do the job for the team. If the team requires me to go out and bat out a session, I'll be doing that."

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