Mayank topped the batting charts for the Ranji Trophy 2017-18 season, being the only batsman to breach the 1,000-run mark
Bengaluru: After India wrapped up the England innings at Trent Bridge to secure a memorable 203-run victory in the third Test on Wednesday, changes were made to the Virat Kohli-led squad for the last two matches.
Uncapped Prithvi Shaw and Hanuma Vihari were called up in place of Murali Vijay and Kuldeep Yadav respectively.
While both the youngsters have been rightly rewarded for their performances in the domestic circuit, there was another player who missed out in spite of scoring heavily. He is Mayank Agarwal.
Mayank has been in the news since the last Ranji Trophy season when he piled on runs for Karnataka.
In just 28 days he had scored a record 1,033 runs, including a triple hundred (304 not out) in India’s premier first-class tournament.
He topped the batting charts for the Ranji Trophy 2017-18 season, being the only batsman to breach the 1,000-run mark. He aggregated 1,160 runs with five centuries and two fifties from 13 innings at an outstanding average of 105.45.
Since then, he has continued his rich vein of form, for his state side and also the Rahul Dravid-coached India A.
Earlier this month (August 4), he struck a superb 251-ball 220 for India A against South Africa A in Bengaluru.
The opener, in June, constructed three centuries, including two on consecutive days in the one-day format in England.
But the mountain of runs doesn't seem to be enough.
Speaking to MyNation, coach RX Murali, who has worked closely with Mayank, revealed that the batsman was disappointed over his non-selection for the England tour.
“I spoke to him yesterday (Wednesday). He was the one who told me about the team announcement. At first, I was shocked to hear that he was not included. He was very disappointed but he told that he doesn’t want to get into a bad phase of mind. He told that he will sleep over it and get back to the game tomorrow (against South Africa A). He is focused,” Murali said.
Mayank, who has acknowledged Murali’s contribution in his success story, was looking forward to play in England Tests, according to the coach.
“For any cricketer, playing Test cricket in England, South Africa or Australia, is a dream. Agreed that representing India is big but winning a Test cap is the biggest achievement. Mayank too was really looking forward to featuring in the team in England. This was the challenge he relishes and he was waiting for it. Unfortunately it did not happen. Hope the selectors look at his four-day form seriously and give him an opportunity soon,” the former Karnataka Under-19 coach said.
When asked about his thoughts on Mayank’s performance not being rewarded, he said, “I am very disappointed. I would be lying if I say if I am not. I think everybody is disappointed. This is a once-in-a-lifetime performance by a cricketer. Now that he is scoring runs, it would be great if he gets an opportunity. But the selectors must be having their own plans. They must have taken a decision based on their vision. This is how a sportsperson’s life is. His job is to keep scoring runs and wait for the selectors to pick him for national duty.”
Murali borrowed former India batsman Vinod Kambli’s famous quote on using the stairs to describe Mayank’s plight.
“It would have been an ideal situation if he had debuted against England in their conditions. It was an opportunity for him to showcase his skills when India needs a good batsman (opener). I was 100% sure that he would be picked. Now I am wondering what else he has to do. Looking at the numbers, I don’t think any other batsman has performed so well in last one year. It is unfortunate that he is stuck in this position. I would like to recall the famous quote, ‘some people take the lift and some have to take the stairs’. And it might be the case with Mayank,” he signed off.
Another coach, Irfan Sait, who has been guiding Mayank from the Under-15 days, felt the batsman will be “hurt” by the selectors’ decision.
“I don't know what more he has to do. He has been phenomenal with the bat. Despite all his runs, the selectors continue to ignore him. This is not right,” Sait, who runs the Karnataka Institute of Cricket (KIOC) in Bengaluru, told MyNation.
Sait felt that a lot of youngsters will be “demoralised” the way performances were ignored by the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) selection panel.
“After all he is a human being. He will be hurt by the BCCI selection committee's decision. Not only Mayank but a lot of young cricketers will be demoralised. They will be thinking if a guy like Mayank Agarwal who has scored heavily fails to find a place in the Indian team, what more needs to be done. They will feel there are other factors involved in selection,” he added.
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Last Updated 9, Sep 2018, 9:04 AM