Mayank delighted to be in elite company

Karnataka's Mayank Agarwal has joined the company of his teammates Karun Nair and K.L. Rahul to become the third Karnataka batsman to score a triple hundred in Ranji Trophy.

Karnataka's Mayank Agarwal, after the third day's play in the Ranji Trophy match between Karnataka and Maharashtra at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune.   -  P. K. AJITH KUMAR

Shortly after stumps on the second day of the Ranji Trophy match here between Maharashtra and Karnataka, Mayank Agarwal was speaking about his long innings.

He was pleasantly surprised when he was told that he had batted for 532 minutes. His broad smile meant how much that bit of statistics meant to him. Because, he is known more for the timing of his shots rather than the time he spends at the wicket.

But, he wasn’t finished yet. He came back on Friday and converted his double hundred into a triple hundred. And he extended his stay at the wicket to 727 minutes; it would have been more if his team hadn’t declared. He remained 304 not out.

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It truly was a remarkable effort from a man whose previous best score in a First Class match was 161 and who is mostly talked about his explosive batting, especially in the IPL.

His coach P.V. Shashikanth believes this could be a turning point in the 26-year-old’s career. “I have been working with him from since he was part of the age-group teams and believed in his natural abilities, and had felt that he was capable of more than what he has achieved,” he told Sportstar.

“He was playing this match under pressure, especially after the pair in the last match at Hyderabad. He showed that he could become a formidable batsman in the longer version of the game too.”

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Mayank admitted he was more confident now after becoming only the third Karnataka batsman to score a triple hundred in Ranji Trophy. He has joined the company of his teammates Karun Nair and K.L. Rahul, who is not playing in this match as he is doing the national duty.“I am delighted to be in that company,” he said.

“When I went out to bat, I wasn’t thinking of a triple hundred; the focus was more on taking my team closer to 600 so that we could declare our innings. Only after going past 250 did I begin to think of the triple hundred.”