Mayank Agarwal’s prolific run for Karnataka and India ‘A’ finally paid off when the opener received a maiden Test call-up for the forthcoming two-match series against the West Indies.
Having missed the bus for the England series when the talented Mumbai batsman Prithvi Shaw was picked mid-way through the five-match rubber, the 27-year-old Agarwal swallowed the disappointment and went on to churn out more runs for India ‘A’ against the visiting South African and Australian teams to keep himself in the selectors’ radar.
And on Saturday evening when the MSK Prasad-led selection committee sat down to pick the squad for the two Tests in Rajkot (Oct 4-8) and Hyderabad (Oct 12-16), the right-hander sent out a timely reminder to the five wise men with a sparkling 90 (111b, 14×4, 2×6) for the Board President’s XI in the two-day warm-up match against the Caribbeans in Vadodara.
In 43 first class matches, Agarwal has a tally of 3372 runs at an average of 50.32, with a best of 304 not out.
Agarwal’s state-mate Karun Nair, however, was cruelly dropped after sitting out all the five Tests in England. Also getting the axe were veteran openers M Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan, who endured a horrible time in England. Stumper Dinesh Karthik was left out with young Rishabh Pant having established his credentials with a ton in the Oval Test.