On Saturday, the 27-year-old batsman was picked in the India squad for the upcoming two-Test series against the West Indies after amassing over 2,000 runs in domestic cricket last season.
The Karnataka batsman has been knocking on the doors of the India Test squad for some time now but opportunities have been hard to come by with senior players like Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan being preferred ahead of him.
The Indian selectors omitted both Dhawan and Vijay from the squad for the West Indies series with Agarwal and Prithvi Shaw being handed a run.
Following his maiden call-up, Agarwal praised India A coach Rahul Dravid for helping him stay motivated during the frustrating period of waiting for an opportunity with the national team.
“Rahul bhai (Dravid) told me to focus on what I can control and to be in the present. He told me if I keep performing then what is bound to happen will happen. I always believed that hard work would pay finally,” Agarwal said.
“He told me that I have a good work ethic and when someone like Rahul bhai tells you that you are going in the right direction it means a lot. Everyone needs someone senior as a guide and I am thankful that he was there for me,” he added.
Playing for India A under Dravid this year, Agarwal had slammed a double ton in the unofficial Test against South Africa A last month before registering a century and two fifties in the subsequent quadrangular one-day series.
Following his India A displays, chief selector MSK Prasad had stated that the right-hander would be recognised for his efforts in the coming months.
“Mayank has been fantastic and has been performing consistently over the past year. He is just a step way and I’m sure in due course I’m sure he will get his recognition. He did well in all three formats in whatever opportunities he got in domestic cricket and for India A. We will definitely look at him when we rest some of those senior cricketers,” Prasad had stated.
The first Test between India and the West Indies will get underway on October 4 at Rajkot with the second Test at Hyderabad starting on October 12.
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