He made a whopping 1,160 runs including a terrific triple ton followed by scores that read 176, 23, 90, 133*, 173 and 134. The highest run-scorer in the Ranji 2017-18 Trophy, Bengaluru boy Mayank Agarwal has managed to astonish cricket buffs with his sensational performance. In a tete-e-tete with us, the explosive batsman, who’s just played a nerve-wracking game against Hyderabad in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy talks about his record-making scores and more…
“It was a revelation for me to get something like this at this time. I worked hard for it. I always felt more confident after each inning. Everything changed but nothing changed — the way I went about my game had not changed, but I was getting big runs,” says Mayank. After having made 304*, did he feel any pressure after that game? “To be honest, I wasn’t thinking about the triple ton. I’d got two zeroes earlier, so I felt I’d hit rock bottom — there’s nothing worse for a batsman than that. This made me let go of the fear of failure, and once I did that, a lot of things changed,” reveals the perseverant cricketer.
The Cottonian credits his coach R Muralidhar for being there for him through the season. Mayank’s Karnataka mates too lent him their support. “After my zeroes, Captian Vinay Kumar came upto me and said, ‘Anybody can have a bad game. When you get set, then you make big runs. You cannot score in every game, it’s okay.’ It’s nice to have your skipper say that — it really helped me,” shares Mayank. Team India batsman KL Rahul too was there to lend words of motivation to his pal. “We had a 15-minute chat and that made a huge difference. Rahul and I have played junior cricket together and we’re good friends. Ronit (More) was there for me as well,” he says.
While Karnataka was on a roll until the team lost to Vidarbha in the semi-final, Mayank says, “It was heartbreaking, but in hindsight, we played brilliant cricket through the season and really dominated all the games. We had one bad session with the bat and the ball — but that’s sport, one team has got to win and one has got to lose. I’m happy about the brand of cricket we played.”
While long-distance running has undoubtedly helped the sportsman up his fitness levels, it’s mind control that’s taken him a long way. Introduced to Vipasanna meditation by his father when he was 18, Mayank’s now a regular practitioner of it. “It really helps in understanding myself and controlling my thoughts. Initially, I was reluctant, but once I reaped the benefits, I continued doing it,” he says.
On the personal front too, the 26-year-old is on a high as he recently proposed to his girlfriend Aashita Sood at the London Eye. With a ‘yes’ from her, the youngster even went on to post pictures of the adorable moment on social media. “But I’d like to keep it personal,” he says as there is nothing official for the time being.
With IPL auctions around the corner, Mayank admits that his current focus is on the ongoing tournament. “I’m not thinking too much about the auctions. I want to focus on the present — if you do the right things now, what has to happen will happen and good things will happen on their own,” says the man with a good head on his shoulders....