From blows to records, Mayank makes it count

Mayank Agarwal smashes handsome 76 in the Boxing Day Test to become the highest-scoring Indian batsman on debut in Australia.

Mayank Agarwal is hit on the helmet by Pat Cummins at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Wednesday.   -  Getty Images

Fairy tales still exist. At least, Mayank Agarwal should believe in them. The Karnataka batsman, who has been on the fringes for possibly the longest period in recent times, exploded inside a grand theatre — the Melbourne Cricket Ground — on Wednesday.

On his Test debut, Mayank smashed a well-composed fifty on day one to revive India’s ‘opening’ department. He also registered the highest-score by an Indian batsman, 76, on debut in Australia.

Dattu Phadkar was the only Indian cricketer who had scored a fifty (51) on debut in Australia, at the Sydney Cricket Ground, in 1947. Mayank surpassed his score at a strike-rate of 47.20.

In the 1999/00 tour, Hrishikesh Kanitkar had come close to Phadkar's record, but the southpaw was dismissed for 45 in the MCG Test.

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After stitching a slow yet steady 40-run opening partnership with Hanuma Vihari, Mayank balanced his innings with controlled aggression. He lasted 161 balls, and the innings comprised eight fours and a six.

 

K.L. Rahul and Murali Vijay — the openers sidelined for the ongoing Test — did not enjoy such a long stay in the middle.

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Rahul faced 75 balls (two innings) in Adelaide, and 21 balls (two innings) in Perth — under 100. Vijay faced 75 balls (two innings) in Adelaide, and 79 balls (two innings) in Perth.

Here's a list of other Indian openers who scored 50+ on Test debut.

D Hussain 59 vs England, 1934

KC Ibrahim 85 vs Australia, 1948

S Gavaskar 65 vs West Indies, 1971

A Lal 63 vs Sri Lanka, 1982

S Dhawan 187 vs Australia, 2013

P Shaw 134 vs Windies, 2018

M Agarwal 76 vs Australia, 2018

 

Note: Phadkar was a lower-order batsman.