When the ICC approved the BCCI’s request to draft in Mayank Agarwal for the remainder of World Cup 2019 as a replacement for the injured Vijay Shankar, the right-hander from Karnataka was training for India A’s upcoming tour of West Indies that starts July 11.
Now the batsman, who made his Test debut against Australia in Melbourne in December, will be sitting on a flight to the UK instead. He is set to fly out of Bengaluru on Tuesday to join Team India as a toe-injury ruled Shankar out of the Cup.
Known for discipline and work ethics in the Karnataka cricketing circles, Mayank had discussed his daily grind with Sportstar in an exclusive interview earlier.
“I would leave home at around 5.30 in the morning. I like to get up early and train. I would start my training by 6 a.m. From Electronic City, I would go to my training place and then come to KSCA to train with the Ranji side. After finishing these, I would go to RX Murali’s Academy in Marathahalli [around 15km away] and then take the Outer Ring road to return by 6 p.m.
“It is not only about playing Tests. It is wherever you go and whichever format you play. It is about performing and pushing yourself to be the best you can,” he said.
Vijay Shankar ruled out of World Cup with toe injury
His coach RX Murali, who trained him for the Tests by throwing down 500 deliveries at him everyday, is thrilled at his World Cup call-up. He, however, believes the ODI selection was long due. “I am elated and excited because he was not even in the probables. This is special,” he said.
Talking on the challenges of walking into an ODI setup for the first time, Murali added, “ I don’t think it is that much of an issue as he plays three formats for Karnataka. He is aware of his game. In fact, he was always treated as a strokeplayer and he was touted to be making his ODI and T20I debut much earlier than the five-day format. But this has come at the right time. He is ready.”
Murali read about the news of his selection on social media. At first, he thought it was a prank. “Then, I messaged him to find out if it is true. There was no reply till 2.30 pm because he was training for India A.
“I just want to soak in the happiness and I did not give him any advice as such. There will be enough time to discuss how to go about things. Every cricketer wishes to play the World Cup and he always dreamt of playing the World Cup.”
ICC approves Mayank Agarwal as replacement for Vijay Shankar
Post IPL 2019, Mayank had gone to Murali to iron out certain flaws and the duo had started the usual routine. “We were working on a few things but there was obviously no intention of a World Cup preparation. We were trying to strengthen the process and develop good habits at the nets.
“You keep taking in new challenges and figuring out ways to do better. As you play more number of matches, there are few doubts that creep in. He comes up with those and I try to help him out. He often comes and says, ‘This is something I need to work on’. It is all about accessing every part of the ground; very few batsmen can do that. Not everybody is AB de Villiers,” said Murali, a seasoned coach in the Karnataka cricketing fraternity.
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