Mayank Agarwal hopes for a breakthrough IPL | Cricket News


CHENNAI: Mayank Agarwal has been one of India’s leading lights in the Test arena ever since his Boxing Day Test debut during India’s tour of Australia in 2018-19. From 11 Tests, the right-hander has scored 974 runs with 3 centuries to his name. The 29-year-old, who has also featured in 3 ODIs for India, is now looking to enhance his reputation as an all-format specialist in the upcoming IPL-13 where he will be donning the Kings XI Punjab jersey.
In a chat with TOI, Mayank spoke on playing for the franchise, the upcoming Test series against Australia and more.
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How much of a comfort factor is it to play alongside a captain (KL Rahul) and coach (Anil Kumble) who hail from your state of Karnataka?
It’s great to have all of them including Karun Nair, Gautam and even Suchith on the same side. We have played a lot of cricket together (for Karnataka) and definitely know each other’s game well. Having said that, KXIP has done everything there is to make us feel home and it’s nice to be out playing for them.
What was your biggest worry when you began full-fledged practice in the UAE with the full squad?
To be honest, I wouldn’t say it was a worry but I didn’t have too many expectations because we had practiced after a gap of time. Luckily for us, KXIP arranged a few sessions for us in Bengaluru and so we had a few hits there and then came to Dubai. It was more about getting back into the flow and keep things going.

Do you reckon that this edition of IPL could be a more mental test than the previous editions?
Playing a tournament like the IPL is a test of mental and physical and all others skills that we possess. This IPL will be different in terms of players staying in a bubble and strictly following all the rules of social distancing. These are extraordinary times and we have to take full precautions. You have to make sure you follow whatever is in your control.
You have established yourself in Tests. Will this season be one where we would see Mayank explode in the T20s format as well?
Hopefully, God willing, that happens. I am preparing to the best of my ability as that’s the only thing in my hand. I am making sure I have covered all bases and hope that this can be a very big IPL for me.
The Indian team will head to Australia once the IPL concludes. Is that series at the back of your mind?
It definitely is. As an individual and as a team we have spoken about that during the lockdown. We know at the back of our mind that after the IPL (concludes) —- the Indian team tours Oz. We have fond memories of the last time we toured there.

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