Mayank Agarwal's attacking game and impressive form in Test cricket have given rise to a new notion that the opener might be and should be selected in the upcoming three-match T20I series against West Indies. Former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir feels that the team management should utilise his form and put him in the Indian squad for the impending series. Mayank is yet to make his debut for India in the limited-overs formats.
Praising his technique and shot selection, Gambhir, in conversation with broadcaster Star Sports on Saturday after India's win in Indore against Bangladesh said, "He has worked on his skill and his technique very well. He came on this scene as a T20 specialist, having played for RCB in the middle-order as well. But the way he has converted his game, becoming a successful Test opener now, a lot of credit goes to him. And time has come when India need to look after him and try and put him in the T20I team as well. Because you have to use his form. He has got an unbelievable start to his Test career and the way he hits those long shorts, I feel he has all the ingredients to become a very successful T20 player as well. India have three T20I coming up next, against West Indies, so put him in."
Mayank has been in an impressive form in Test cricket since making his debut at the MCG last December, scoring 958 runs in 12 innings with three centuries which includes two double tons. He is also the second-highest run-getter in the format this year having managed 740 runs in 10 innings, 34 runs behind topper Steve Smith.
In the opener against Bangladesh, Mayank scored 243 in the first innings and broke Don Bradman's record in the list of fastest to second career double ton. Mayank took 12 innings to achieve the feat and stands second behind Vinod Kambli (5). India won the game by an innings and 130 runs and Mayank was adjudged the player of the match.
Earlier on Sunday, former Indian cricketer Deep Dasgupta reckoned that Mayank is a natural white-ball player and stands a possibility to feature in the bilateral series against West Indies.
"It would be a great thing if the Indian team management has Mayank in mind as an opening option. In fact, he is a natural white ball player, who has wonderfully transformed and adapted to the needs of red ball cricket," Dasgupta said. "If you look at Mayank, his talent was never questioned. He always had the range of strokes from drives to the horizontal bat shots. It was just that in the earlier part he was getting out playing cameos, but not anymore."
Many also believe that the next year's IPL season could prove to be a game changer for Mayank. Well, India are searching for an opener amid Shikhar Dhawan's struggling form and Mayank might just be that option for India.