When Mayank Agarwal had scored over 2000 runs across formats in the Indian domestic circuit in 2017, he had admitted that Virender Sehwag is his idol. After such a magnificent season, Agarwal still did not have the key to get into the Indian Test team. An injury to Prithvi Shaw during the series in Australia, combined with hte loss in form of KL Rahul at the top, got Agarwal to open during the Melbourne Test against Australia and he ended the tour with two fifties. In Vizag, Agarwal went one better and notched up his maiden double century to help India win by over 200 runs against South Africa.
The knock included six sixes and this prompted former India skipper VVS Laxman to say that Agarwal played fearlessly just like Sehwag. "He is a solid batsman and has approached this game like a domestic cricket match. Players usually change the way they play in domestic and international cricket, but he managed to maintain his style in both forms of cricket. Mental toughness and stability are his strengths and he plays fearlessly just like his favourite, Virender Sehwag," Laxman said after the end of the match on Star Sports.
Agarwal notched up his fifty with a six and he reached his milestones with effortless ease. The ability to bat long and maintain the aggression while understanding the situation of the time showcased his maturity. Harbhajan Singh, the India offspinner, said the years of experience Agarwal had accumulated helped him immensely in the Vizag Test.
"Mayank uses his feet well when he comes forward and hits and also executes the reverse sweep shots. He has a lot in store and plays them when and where needed. He is a hardworking player; the players who come from domestic cricket background have learned a lot. They come in late but have so much knowledge and experience of the game that they value and understand every opportunity that the game brings to them. Once a player is confident about his role and place in the game, he only needs to focus on his performance. Rohit was trying (to play) a different game but Mayank Agarwal stuck to his game," Harbhajan said.
The second match of the three-match series will take place on October 10 at the Maharashtra Cricket Association stadium in Pune.