Hard work pays off for Karnataka’s Mayank Agarwal

Hard work pays off for Karnataka’s Mayank Agarwal

Mayank Agarwal. DH PHOTO/Satish Badiger

“Whatever has to happen will happen,” Mayank Agarwal had said two months ago, denying any kind of disappointment on not being selected to the Indian team. 

Most of Agarwal’s responses had philosophical undertones then. But there was no denying his frustration at being made to wait to don the Indian colours. More so for a player like Agarwal, who shattered records in the domestic season last year.  

Today, when the opening batsman makes his debut at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) against Australia, Agarwal’s hard work gets its due, as he becomes the 26th player from Karnataka to play Test cricket. In stark contrast to his aggressive approach on the field, Agarwal is a calm customer off it. And as he waited for his turn, Agarwal chose an interesting method to fight his inner battles. 

At the age of 19, his father, Anurag Agarwal, a businessman, introduced him to vipassana, a form of meditation. The 27-year-old has survived testing scenarios thanks to meditation.

There was no dearth of passion in him, says Irfan Sait, one of his coaches. “He was 15 when he was picked for his first league game for Modern Cricket Club. He was so excited that he ran into an electric pole during practice and injured his eye. He still played the next day and scored 150,” Irfan says. 

After a pair in a Ranji game at the start of last season, it looked like he would face the axe. But he got another chance and he cashed in on it with a triple ton. “From his U-19 days, we knew he was special. He would score from awkward positions and that was fascinating,” says his personal coach R X Murali.