Visakhapatnam: After scoring his maiden double ton in the Test format, India opening batsman Mayank Agarwal on Thursday said that he is extremely happy to contribute to the team and added that being part of a winning outfit is a privilege.
His remarks came after the close of play on day two of the first Test match between India and South Africa. India declared their innings at 502/7, owing to Agarwal’s knock of 215 runs and in response, South Africa ended the day at 39/3.
“I am extremely happy that I was able to contribute to the team. Being part of a side that is winning matches and tournaments is a privilege and I am happy to be part of the squad. Having crossed the milestone of 100, eased my nerves and being out there for a long time in the middle gave me confidence,” Agarwal told reporters.
“I was determined to put away the loose balls. You cannot think about what will happen if you don’t score runs, you just have to be clear in your thought process. As an opening batsman, you have to set the tone for your team,” he added.
Agarwal also gave insights on how he used to prepare when he was not a part of the Indian squad.
“You have to make little adjustments when you play in different conditions. For me, long-distance running has helped me. When I was training, I made sure that I bat five-to-six hours. Preparing for long hours has helped me in improving my game,” Agarwal said.
India scalped three Proteas’ wickets easily as Ravichandran Ashwin took two wickets while Ravindra Jadeja got one.
The 28-year-old Agarwal said that there is no room for complacency and India will not ease the pressure on South Africa.
“Definitely we are very happy with the way we have played in the first two days. But there is no room for complacency since we have the upper hand, we will keep the pressure going and we will be relentless,” Agarwal said.
Agarwal had a mammoth opening stand with Rohit Sharma as the duo put on 317 runs for the first wicket. He lauded Sharma for the composure he showed in his first innings as a Test opener.
“It was good that we were able to manipulate the field. We just tried to find more ways of scoring the maximum runs. For him, to get such a big score is tremendous. We all really enjoyed the way he played and paced his innings. It was great playing alongside him. Getting a 300-run partnership feels great,” Agarwal said.
South Africa will resume day three of the first Test at 39/3, still trailing India by 463 runs.