Indian opener Mayank Agarwal celebrated his birthday in grand style by ushering into form with a pristine 82 in the second innings of the three-day practice match against New Zealand XI on Sunday. The run-machine had run out of scores ever since he landed in New Zealand whether it was for India-A or the national side in his maiden One-day International series.
It has been a whirlwind year for Agarwal, who earned his way into the Test set-up after hammering down the door through sheer weight of runs in domestic cricket. And, when he got his chance– against Australia at the colosseum of cricket that is the Melbourne Cricket Ground in December 2018– the right-hander grabbed it with both hands by scoring a half-century to lay the platform of an eventual Indian win.
Someone who has seen and batted alongside Mayank for Karnataka and from his teenage days, KL Rahul took to Twitter to post a cheeky message for his mate on his birthday.
“Happy birthday my brother. Wishing you nothing but the best. @mayankcricket Hope you are actually as innocent as your smile in the next year,” wrote Rahul on Twitter.
Happy birthday my brother. Wishing you nothing but the best. @mayankcricket Hope you are actually as innocent as your smile in the next year. 😈 #bromance pic.twitter.com/lGO2YRP4GZ
— K L Rahul (@klrahul11) February 16, 2020
Earlier the BCCI also took to Twitter to wish the Indian Test opener where they wrote “Just birthday things,” along with the pictures shared.
Just birthday things 😃😃
Happy Birthday, Mayank Agarwal 🍰🥞🎂 pic.twitter.com/fwAUc8G9yS
— BCCI (@BCCI) February 16, 2020
Mayank Agarwal focused on performing against New Zealand
Coming back to Mayank’s first year in International cricket, after missing out on the opportunity to score a hundred in Australia [twic], Agarwal finally breached the barrier during the home season where he not only converted his start into a hundred but into a double-hundred on two occasions.
The Indian opener is relieved that he finally shrugged off the lean-patch with a brilliant half-century on Sunday and is focussed on carrying that form into the Test series that starts from February 21.
“It was a good match, it was nice that we got a practice three-day game ahead of the Test series. Scoring runs is important. In the first innings, the wicket was tough and I got out early. But it was good that I got another opportunity in the second innings,” said Agarwal.
It has been a little different, I scored 81 in the second innings and I want to take that confidence into the Test series. Batting coach Vikram Rathour and I have talked about the areas that I need to get better in. I am happy that whatever I have worked on, is coming good now,” spoke Agarwal about he worked on removing the chunks in his technique with batting coach Vikram Rathour after the first innings dismissal.
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