India opener Mayank Agarwal said he is comfortable batting at any position for the team but he enjoys opening the batting.
Indian opener Mayank Agarwal said he is comfortable batting at any position for the team but he enjoys opening the batting. After a splendid performance with the bat against New Zealand and South Africa, Mayank Agarwal was named in the 18-man squad for the upcoming Test series against Sri Lanka. “The role of an opener is key in Test cricket because, in a five-day game, it is the openers who set up the day for the batters to follow. It’s something that I have done all my life,” Mayank said in a statement. “I really enjoy doing that. With that being said, I don’t just always want to open the batting. I am also comfortable batting at any position the team wants me to bat, at any given situation,” he added.
Speaking ahead of the first Test against Sri Lanka, which begins on March 4 Mayank highlighted the importance of the series and explained why the team’s mentality is to win every Test match.
“I am very excited to be part of the squad and part of the Indian Test team. I am really looking forward to contributing to the team’s success,” Mayank said.
“Every Test series is of utmost importance because of the World Test Championship. Each Test carries points. The collective thinking of our team is to pick up a win in every match that we play and try to get the maximum points we can from all the Test matches,” the 31-year-old added.
Sri Lanka, over the past couple of decades, have garnered a reputation of possessing a solid spin-bowling attack, especially in the longest format.
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The Asian rivals are also known for giving the new ball to the spinners in Test cricket, which tends to become a challenge for opening batsmen. But Mayank said that he is prepared for any curveball Sri Lanka might throw at them.
“In India, as an opening batsman, you still have to be very good in facing the spin. Personally, it does not faze me if you open the bowling with spin or pace,” he said.
“We have grown up playing spin all our lives. Personally, my mindset would not change much. I would look to do what an opener sets out to do. Give a good start, set up the scores for the team and make it count. One of the advantages the openers have, with all the difficulties that come their way, is that they have the opportunity to score big runs,” Mayank added.
Mayank was one of the two players that were retained by the Punjab Kings franchise ahead of the Indian Premier League 2022 Mega Auctions in Bangalore. The opener is expected to play a major role for the franchise in the 2022 edition of IPL, and he talked about his goal for the season.
“I believe, as a Punjab Kings player who has been retained, we did really well at the auction. I have always played any tournament to win and that’s the same goal for me in the IPL. I will go into the IPL 2022 to win it for Punjab Kings, as I have always done every season that I have been part of the franchise,” Mayank said.
The India opening batter added he is not too focused on the squad selection for the 2022 T20 World Cup in Australia and will give his best in the IPL 2022.
“I am not thinking too much about the selection in the India T20 squad for the T20 World Cup this year. My thought process is to play well, put in the performances, make sure my team wins, and hope for the best. Whatever happens after that, is okay with me,” Mayank signed off.
ind vs SL 2022: After Ruturaj injury, Agarwal added to T20 squad as back up
Mayank Agarwal has been added to the Indian Twenty20 team that reached Dharamsala on Friday (February 25). He has been named as a replacement for Ruturaj Gaikwad, who has been ruled out of the remaining two T20 games, to be played over the next two days, back to back. India lead the three-match series against Sri Lanka 1-0.
The Indian team management had put out a release before the first game in Lucknow on Gaikwad (25), who was unavailable for selection because of pain in his right wrist. “Ruturaj Gaikwad complained of pain in his right wrist, which is affecting his batting. He was unavailable for selection for the first T20I. The BCCI Medical Team is examining him,” a spokesman for the Indian team had said.
According to sources in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Agarwal (31) had to be rushed to Dharamsala because he was available to join the squad at a short notice. The Indian Test players are currently quarantining in Chandigarh and Agarwal is one among them. “It was not difficult to send Agarwal in because it could easily a bubble-to-bubble transfer. He was in Chandigarh and he was immediately rushed,” a source told Cricbuzz.
Ruturaj is the third withdrawal from the current squad after the exits of Suryakumar Yadav and Deepak Chahar. The two suffered injuries during the last Twenty20 game against West Indies at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata and could not make it to the team after being initially picked. The selectors did not name replacements for them because there were 16 other players to choose the XI from. After Ruturaj’s injury, the selectors and the team management did not want to take a chance.
Meanwhile, it is learned that R Ashwin, who was selected in the Test team with a caveat over his fitness, is on his way to recovery and is expected to be ready for the first Test against Sri Lanka, which starts in Mohali on March 3. While announcing the Test squad for the two-match series, the selectors had said Ashwin’s selection is ‘subject to fitness clearance.’
India T20 International squad:
Rohit Sharma (captain), Shreyas Iyer, Sanju Samson, Ishan Kishan (wicketkeeper), Venkatesh Iyer, Deepak Hooda, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravi Bishnoi, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohd. Siraj, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Jasprit Bumrah (vice-captain), Avesh Khan and Mayank Agarwal.