Mayank Agarwal has asserted his desire to make a comeback to he national squad, stating he is striving hard towards the goal but will be satisfied irrespective of whether he achieves it. The batter further revealed his preparation of late and the success it has been reaping in limited overs cricket.
Mayank Agarwal was pipped to be a prodigious talent when he first burst onto the scene with the Indian under-19 team but did not really manage to translate it onto the big stage for a long time. Failed stints in the Indian Premier League and lack of a breakthrough domestic season meant the batter was restricted to the fringes when it came to conversations around the national team. Agarwal finally got his big chance in 2018 when he made his international debut in a Test Down Under. However, four years on from his debut, the 31-year-old has managed just 21 red-ball appearances and five ODIs for the Men in Blue.
Even though he has a decent average of 41.33 in Tests, the rise of KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma coupled with the emergence of Shubman Gill has kept him out of the squad altogether unless injuries creak apart an opening for him. A disastrous IPL 2022 did not help his chances, where he managed a paltry 196 runs in 12 innings as Punjab Kings skipper averaging 16.33. Nevertheless, the Bangalorean remains optimistic about his chances and representing India once again.
"I am somebody who isn't going to give up," he told ESPNcricinfo.
"I am going to keep chasing it and improve my game with each passing day. I will be very happy with whatever comes my way, but the aspirations and dreams never die. It's about going out there, improving and ticking all those boxes."
To back his hopes, Agarwal has managed a resurgence of sorts of late. Plying his trade in the local Karnataka T20 tournament Maharaja Trophy featuring a host of capped players, the opener has tallied 480 runs in 11 innings at an average of 53.33 and strike rate of 167.24. Agarwal revealed he had been focusing on white-ball cricket ever since the IPL ended.
"In the last four months, I've really worked hard on my batting. As you can see, I've started sweeping and reverse-sweeping the ball, that too against the fast bowlers. I've opened up four-five areas in my game which are paying rich dividends. I am very happy that the hard work I put in is paying off now," he stated.
His outings in the competition include two quick-fire centuries, one coming off 58 balls while the other took just 48 deliveries. Such form bodes well for the batsman, who last played an ODI in November 2020.
"Getting two hundreds in a T20 tournament like the Maharaja Trophy feels amazing. It feels really nice when the players respond to you the way you want. Obviously runs behind my back really makes me feel good and then I can lead from the front," Agarwal concluded.