Uthappa reveals how Vinay Kumar inspired Mayank's turnaround

Mayank Agarwal was spurred on by former Karnataka captain R. Vinay Kumar's words when he was struggling with form, Robin Uthappa remembered.

Mayank Agarwal turned things around after hearing motivational words from his former state captain R. Vinay Kumar.   -  G.P. Sampath Kumar

Mayank Agarwal's remarkable consistency was a result of former Karnataka captain R. Vinay Kumar's inspirational words during a Ranji Trophy game when the opening batsman was out-of-form and facing an axe from the state team.

Agarwal on Thursday became the fourth Indian to convert his maiden Test century to a double hundred and his former statemate Robin Uthappa recalled how the opener has improved by leaps and bounds since Vinay gave him a vocal tonic.

“I remember we contemplated dropping him from a Ranji game but when (captain) R Vinay Kumar gave him a push (motivational words), he scored a triple hundred and did not look back from there,” Uthappa said on the sidelines of a Kolkata Knight Riders promotional programme.

He went on to score his maiden triple century in first-class cricket, when he made 304 not out as they thrashed Maharashtra by an innings and 136 runs in Pune, November 1-4 Ranji fixture.

Agarwal struck 215 as India scored a massive 502 for seven declared to take a grip of the opening Test against South Africa in Visakhapatnam.

“He will only get better with more opportunities. This will give him a lot of confidence,” Uthappa said.

READ | Mayank Agarwal won't be denied, not in nets, not in Tests

Uthappa also lavished praise on Rohit Sharma, who scored 176 from 244 deliveries in his first innings as a Test opener, terming him one of the best batsmen of the world.

“He has always done well in India and abroad. In white ball cricket, he dominates the scene right now. He is arguably one of the best batsman in the world,” Uthappa said of Rohit.

Rohit had a stupendous World Cup campaign earlier as he finished with the most runs in India’s semifinal exit.

“He has reached a point in his career where he understands his batting really well and knows what works for him. Given that situation, he must be going through a huge surge in confidence.”

“I think he has figured out opening the batting and this opportunity came at the right moment for Rohit to capitalise on it. So it’s not a surprise that he is successful,” Uthappa said.

Uthappa however did not want to compare Sharma with that of Virender Sehwag.

“Viru pa would demolish the ball while Rohit caresses it. The way they go about dealing with bowlers is vastly different but the aggressive nature is the common factor.”