Nine months after making his Test debut, against Australia in Melbourne, Mayank Agarwal finally played a home Test when India took on South Africa in the opening Test of three-match series. It was a sweet homecoming for Mayank, as he converted his maiden century into a double-century, becoming fourth Indian batsmen to achieve this record.
Mayank received praise from corners, with former players also heaping praise on him but the youngster got a special wish from his teammate and childhood friend, KL Rahul. Here is what he posted on social media –
It was during the same time that both Rahul and Mayank were in contention to be selected in the Indian team but Rahuls’s twin century in Duleep Trophy final saw him get his maiden Test call-up for the tour of Australia in 2014.
Mayank, meanwhile, played for India A but could not maintain his consistency. After scoring more than 2000 runs in 2017/18, he finally earned his maiden call-up for the home series against West Indies but was dropped.
An injury to Prithvi Shaw and poor form from openers Rahul and Murali Vijay finally saw him make his Test debut, where he replaced his friend in the playing XI. Mayank scored a patient 76 off 161 in the Boxing Day Test and has kept his place in the Test side since then.
Rahul and Mayank opened the innings for India during the tour of West Indies but a failure from Rahul to covert his starts into big knocks saw him being dropped for the South Africa Tests.
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In his absence, India asked Rohit Sharma to open with Mayank. The senior batsman did not disappoint and scored 175, putting up 317 runs for the first wicket. Riding on superlative performances from the openers, India posted a big total of 502/7 on the board.
India are in a strong position in the opening Test. The visitors lost their three wickets at a score of 39/3 in 20 overs that they played in the final session of the day. R Ashwin shone with twin wickets.
He is expected to dominate the batsmen on the third day as well, which could see South Africa lose the Test by a big margin.