India's Test opener Mayank Agarwal on Sunday revealed the mindset required to sustain one's position in the Indian cricket team, no matter the format. His comment came moments after India's win against Bangladesh at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata where the hosts won by an innings and 46 runs to register their fourth successive innings victory and 12th consecutive series win. The 2-0 series win also helped them surge to 360 points atop in the ongoing ICC World Test Championship.
Mayank, who has cemented his place in India's Test squad with a prolific run since his debut at the MCG last December, mentioned that mediocrity is not enough to find a place in the Indian team. And no one more than Mayank can explain how tough the competition is to crack this code. He scored 1000s of runs in domestic cricket, got the entire Indian cricket fraternity to back him for a spot in the Indian squad, but after months of waiting, Mayank was selected for the Windies series last year, but failed to find a spot in the playing XI. He eventually made his debut in Melbourne in the Boxing Day Test last year and scored a gritty 70. Mayank has since been the leading run-getter in Tests in the time frame.
"It can't be easy to break into an Indian team. Mediocre performances aren't enough and you've to push hard for your place in the team. And if you have to replace somebody in the team… you need match-winning performances. The mindset is something I've carried from domestic cricket. It's the same template: get in and make it count. After I got out for 70 in Australia, Ravi Sir said: it's not on. Openers have the chance to make it big," said Mayank.
Talking about the pink ball Test against Bangladesh in Kolkata, Mayank feels that batting in the first session is more difficult than the dew session when the ball comes onto the bat.
"As the day progresses and dew comes, ball comes onto the bat and strokemaking gets easier. The challenge comes as clearly as you can see in the first session. The conversations with Rohit are quite simple and we make sure we have fun in the field," said Mayank.
India's next Test campaign will be against New Zealand in February 2020 which will be a two-Test contest.