November 15, 2019 / 1:25 PM / 22 days ago

Cricket: Agarwal credits relaxed approach for prolific run

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India opener Mayank Agarwal credits a relaxed approach for his seemingly insatiable appetite for runs after his mammoth 243 in the opening test against Bangladesh offered fresh proof of his hunger.

Agarwal’s career-best 243 was his second double century and sixth 50-plus score in 12 innings since the 28-year-old made his test debut in Australia late last year.

A prolific scorer in domestic cricket, Agarwal made 76 on his debut in the Boxing Day test in Melbourne as India went on to record their first-ever test series victory Down Under.

“The fear of failure, letting go of that really helped me change a lot of things,” Agarwal told broadcaster Star Sports after India reached 493-6 at Indore’s Holkar Cricket Stadium on Friday.

“After that, I just got hungry and hungry, because I know I’ve had it hard. There have been times where I haven’t got runs.

“Every time I get set, that’s the thing that I keep in my head...when the going is good, I’m just thinking of making it big.”

That fearless approach was especially evident the way he treated the Bangladesh spinners, especially off-spinner Mehidy Hasan Miraz whom he hit for five sixes.

“I back myself and you know I was watching the ball well and I was picking it well,” said the right-handed batsman.

“I thought why not? There was good bounce on the wicket, so you get full value for a shot. So I went after anything that I felt was in my half.”

Agarwal forged two 100-plus partnerships with Ajinkya Rahane and Ravindra Jadeja to bat Bangladesh effectively out of the contest.

His marathon 190-run stand with Rahane, who made 86, helped India overcome the loss of two early wickets, including that of skipper Virat Kohli, and stretch their lead to 343 runs.

“Obviously he’s a senior pro, he has played a lot of test cricket for us,” Agarwal said of vice-captain Rahane.

“He was guiding me through. We had lost two quick wickets. So the plan was to get a small partnership and be cautious, but not overly cautious.

“We decided if we still get the loose ball, we’ll pull it away. But the plan was to get a partnership, and once we got a decent partnership, then it was to build more and more.”

Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Toby Davis

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