Disappointed I threw away my wicket: Agarwal

Disappointed I threw away my wicket: Agarwal

India's Mayank Agarwal celebrates reaching fifty runs against Australia during the first day of the fourth and final cricket Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground in Sydney . AFP photo

Mayank Agarwal continued to impress in his maiden series, stroking his way to a delightful half-century in his second Test. After managing 76 and 42 in the first Test on his debut in Melbourne, the right-hander struck a good-looking 77 (112b, 7x4, 2x6) to enhance his reputation as a long-term prospect.      

The opener, however, needs to put a check on his youthful exuberance. Looking good for a maiden ton in only his second Test, Agarwal threw his wicket away with a shot that he wouldn’t be proud of. Having heaved Nathan Lyon over sight-screen for six, the Karnataka batsman repeated the shot only to be done in by the extra bounce on the ball. He was caught at long-on, failing to make it bigger.    

“I am quite disappointed on missing out on a big score,” Agarwal later admitted. “I am really disappointed that I threw my wicket. That’s something (attacking Lyon) I was looking to do, was looking to dominate him, and it didn’t work out. With that said, it’s a learning curve. If I don’t make this mistake again it will be good learning.”

Agarwal had a 116-run stand with Cheteshwar Pujara, who remained unbeaten on 130, his third century of the series. And the Bengalurean agreed that staying patient was something that you could learn from the senior batsman.    

“He knows his game and sticks to his strengths,” he noted. “This game is for five days and there is time. It’s a five-day game, very long game and if you see him bat, you can learn a lot and patience is his strength and he sticks to that. It’s definitely great to watch him bat from the other end and also to watch him the way he grinds the bowlers.

“He has got a pattern to it and he understands his strengths and he knows he is very tight with his defence. He looks to do that and waits for the bad ball to come. And as far as a partnership is concerned, he keeps talking that these are the things we can look at and he tells me this is what they are looking to do, and all of those things, the tips. We just keep communicating a lot while batting out there,” he said.

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Agarwal had to tide through some tough period when the Australian quicks banged it short and fast and the right-hander admitted it was the most hostile short-ball bowling he has faced.   

“I remember facing (a pace attack) just very recently against New Zealand ‘A’ side (in New Zealand), they also came very hard but to be really honest I think the Aussies came really, really hard. They bowled quick bouncers and they were sharp there and they were consistent. They didn’t give anything away.”

Agarwal also acknowledged the contribution of his illustrious State-mate and India ‘A’ coach Rahul Dravid under whom he has worked extensively.

“Obviously, playing under him (as coach) is good. We, as batsmen, speak about our technique and the game and he is out there to help us, guide us and help us climb the ladder. And his advice has been really helpful. He told me to particularly think about how to manage my mental energy and that’s something we have spoken about for 4-6 months and he has helped me go through that path.”