Bengaluru: A fortnight ago, 27-year-old Mayank Agarwal was sporting Karnataka state colours against Gujarat in a Ranji Trophy encounter at Surat, carrying on from the 2017-18 season, when he notched up 1,160 runs, a Bradmanesque average of 105 in eight matches including five hundreds and two half-centuries Be it against England Lions or South Africa A, his hunger for run-making is voracious, spurred on by the buzz that he could make it to Team India.
When the Bengaluru boy finally did make the cut, named as opener for India's Boxing Day squad against Australia on Wednesday, he was unfazed by the 80,000 crowds of MCG, scoring a gritty but stylish 161-ball 76 on debut which included six boundaries and a towering six. The highlight of the day was how well the inexperienced Mayank read Oz' lethal right arm off spinner Nathan Lyon. In the first two test matches, Indian after Indian succumbed to Lyon's well-laid traps. But Mayank played him with ease.
The six that he hit on a docile, batsman-friendly Melbourne Cricket Ground wicket towards the deep mid-wicket region came from Lyon's delivery! The powerhouse stroked 76 -- the highest score by an Indian on debut in Australia -- and was looking impregnable before Pat Cummins had him caught behind by Tim Paine as he gloved the last ball before tea down the legside.