A fitter Mayank Agarwal looking at larger picture

A new and improved fitness routine has also contributed to his success, while Playing for India Blue, as Mayank recorded scores of 92, 161, 58, 57 and 52 in three first-class matches.

Mayank Agarwal is especially happy to get going in the longest format. Naturally attacking at the crease, Mayank has had to mellow down to some degree.   -  special arrangement

Mayank Agarwal is keen on continuing his good run with the bat, and believes that a bit of positive reinforcement will help him achieve his ends. “I’ve written down all the things that I have done right in the last 18 months. I read it carefully before I bat at nets or in matches,” the Karnataka batsman says.

These notes will contain a few pages on his exploits at the recent Duleep Trophy and Karnataka Premier League (KPL). Playing for India Blue, Mayank recorded scores of 92, 161, 58, 57 and 52 in three first-class matches. He followed this up with three fifties and a swashbuckling unbeaten 51-ball 119 in the KPL (for Belagavi Panthers), which concluded here a few days ago.

The 25-year-old is especially happy to get going in the longest format. Naturally attacking at the crease, Mayank has had to mellow down to some degree. “With the help of my coach ‘RX’ Murali, I’ve made some changes to my balance and technique. But the biggest change I’ve made is in shot selection. The idea is to bat for longer periods. I no longer want to dominate and hit every ball,” he says, in a chat with Sportstar.

A new and improved fitness routine has also contributed to his success. Mayank talks about incorporating long-distance running into his routine. “In the past, I trained to get strong, but I was not lean. I realised that this was not working for me. I had to become significantly slimmer. That is why I adopted long-distance running and circuit training. Now that I am lean, I’m concentrating on power-lifting and strength training,” he says. This regimen has yielded some unexpected benefits.

“Long-distance running has made me mentally stronger. When I started, I would want to stop after five-six rounds. I was exhausted. But then I would focus on my target, and push myself to the limit to reach it. I take this determination with me when I bat, because I know that I am capable of breaking all mental blocks. I want to bat for five, six, seven hours - this is what is required in first-class cricket,” he says.

Asked if he expects an India call-up, Mayank replies that he prefers to live in the present moment. “I’m not thinking about playing for India. I just want to score big runs, without looking too far ahead.”