BENGALURU: In 2009, when a young Mayank Agarwal scored 432 runs at an average of 54 in the U-19 Cooch Behar Trophy, it was an early indication of big things that were expected from him.
His impressive 160 for India U-19 against Australia was the next achievement that earned him recognition as an explosive batsman. But, what followed were a few hits and misses. For the Karnataka Ranji Trophy team, he remained a dormant asset, facing the axe in the knockout stages last year after managing just 284 runs from 13 innings.
This season, however, Mayank is a changed man. At 26, it seems like he has finally justified his potential. The Bengaluru boy has hammered 1,064 runs from 10 innings this season. He is the highest run-getter this term.
It is determination and confidence that have produced Mayank 2.0. “A better understanding of myself and my game has helped. Letting go of the fear of failure has helped turn my fortunes around,” he said.
Mayank’s bad patch was not over yet at the start of this season: a 31 against Assam followed by a pair against Hyderabad. That’s when things changed. Mayank slammed an unbeaten 304 in the very next clash against Maharashtra, and there has been no turning back since. “The whole thing started during pre-season. I was concentrating on situation-based training. That helped me understand my batting. But those two ducks hurt me the most, and I didn’t know what would happen next. My captain and coach backed me, and then the triple ton came.”
Mayank’s scoring spree has also been catalysed by advice from India A coach Rahul Dravid. “During the New Zealand series, Rahul bhai told me about managing mental energy and switching off: how much one should think about the game while not practising.”
Mayank is 351 runs short of VVS Laxman’s record of most runs in a season (1,415). But, the soft-spoken right-hander is only looking at doing what he does best: score runs. “I’m not a stats person. My focus is to put in my best effort and help my team. I’d rather not think about a record or getting a national call-up. I will keep improving myself as a batsman — and the results will come.”