India opener Mayank Agarwal has revealed that batting legend Sunil Gavaskar has asked him to adjust his stance and keep his bat down for a slightly longer period of time and it has helped him immensely.
Agarwal, who was about to be dropped for the Mumbai Test after twin failures in Kanpur, bounced back with a hundred on the opening day of the second Test against New Zealand. The batsman, whose place in the playing XI was confirmed after Ajinkya Rahane was ruled out due to injury, was unbeaten on 120 as India ended Day one on 221 for 4.
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At a press conference following the opening day’s play, Agarwal shared about the conversation he had with Gavaskar. While talking about that, Agarwal said:
“Sunny sir told me that, initially, instead of picking your bat up a lot, just keep it down for the initial part of it. It will be nice. I couldn’t really make that adjustment in this short period. But definitely, while he was saying that, I was looking at his shoulder position and he was side-on. So, being side-on was something that I picked up from that conversation.”
“When I was picked here, Rahul bhai (Dravid) came and spoke to me. He said, ‘listen, just control what is in your hands. You have this opportunity, go out and give your best’. That’s all he asked of me. And he said, ‘when you get set, make it big’. I am happy that when I got set, I could really capitalize.”
“This innings was more about grit and determination” – Mayank Agarwal
Mayank Agarwal and Shubman Gill (44) added an opening stand of 80. After India lost three quick wickets, Agarwal steadied the ship with Shreyas Iyer (18) and Wriddhiman Saha (25*) as well.
“Yes, that is something that I have thought about. But, this innings was more about grit and determination, sticking to a plan and having the mental discipline to be at it. I know there were times when I didn’t look good but it didn’t make much of a difference as long as the job was getting done,” Mayank Agarwal concluded.