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Winning Test Series Down Under Was Special: Mayank Agarwal Looks Back on Whirlwind Year

Since making his Test debut for India against Australia at Melbourne in December 2018, Mayank Agarwal has come a long way. He’s now nine Tests old with an average of 67.07, has three centuries to his name and a high score of 243.
It has been a dream year in all aspects, with an appearance at the World Cup also thrown into the mix. Agarwal spoke about his journey since his debut, and what he’s looking forward to immediately.
“Definitely didn't believe any of this. It's unreal,” Agarwal told ESPNCricinfo about the year that he has had. “Now it just feels like I'm in a dream. It feels terrific to have all of this and I'm very grateful for whatever has happened. There was a debut at MCG, then a World Cup call-up, and some other things.
“I'm not a man of much comparison. I don't believe in comparisons, but I would say winning the Test series Down Under. I've never felt something like that. When we won the series Down Under, that was a special feeling. Never felt anything like that. Getting picked for the World Cup was also a very different feeling, a very nice feeling. And India being on top of the World Test Championship right now and the kind of cricket we're playing - it's also a very great feeling to be part of such a set-up.”
It could have been a tough transition for Agarwal from playing domestic cricket to suddenly being in the thick of the action in international cricket, but he credits those around him for helping to make it easier.
“The conversations we had (with head coach Ravi Shastri) were about playing your natural game, understanding the situation, adapting to the situation, (and) being smart about it. But also not losing your strength, not losing your key factors as a player - that X-factor which is special to you. But also understanding where you need to curb what to suit yourself to that situation,” he continued.
“He (Shastri) said, '(It's) good to have you score these many runs and come (into the Indian team) and obviously having scored that many runs, confidence is definite'. With that said, when they decided that I'm going to play the game, the talk was about what are the things I need to prepare. What are the challenges I could be facing going into my first game.
“I was nervous when I walked into the dressing room. But KL (Rahul) was there. We've been the best of friends since a very young age so having him around helped. But the environment there was very calm, very relaxed and they were very welcoming. I never felt uncomfortable. Everyone did chip in to make me feel at home.”
Looking ahead, Agarwal spoke about the upcoming Ranji Trophy season for Karnataka, and what he hopes to achieve with the team.
“The ideal end (to the year) would be get a lot of runs for the side and Karnataka winning games going forward, and then again wherever the chance is given to (me to) represent India and Karnataka, score runs and win matches. There is something about winning matches and winning tournaments that motivates me. And probably not just me, motivates everybody else. So, it's winning more number of matches. More number of trophies, that's something you crave for,” he said.​

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