Former India cricketer Sanjay Bangar has lauded opener Mayank Agarwal for his performance in the second Test against New Zealand in Mumbai. Praising Mayank for his century and half-century in the Mumbai Test, which India won by 372 runs to clinch the two-match Test series 1-0, Bangar said it was “a big achievement” for the manner in which the opener made his comeback into the Indian team. Speaking on the Star Sports show ‘Follow the Blues’, Bangar said, “Mayank Agarwal’s batting style was commendable. He very efficiently countered Wankhede’s pitch which had a lot of turn and bounce. The way he approached and encountered Tim Southee was the highlight of the match, because Southee was someone who troubled us a lot in the first Test match.”
“Mayank showed a lot of discipline against pacers and scored a lot of runs against spinners, especially against Ajaz Patel. I think Ajaz is a bowler who pitches a ball higher and whenever he has pitched the ball higher, Mayank Agarwal has used this opportunity to use his feet and play aerial shots,” added the former India batting coach.
“He has played long shots with the turn and which is why I think this is a big achievement for Mayank Agarwal – the way he has made his comeback in Test cricket,” Bangar said.
Former India batter VVS Laxman also lavished praise on Mayank for his performance in Mumbai. “I think the difference between Kanpur and Mumbai was, that there were slight technical adjustments he made, more so he trusted the game plan against Kyle Jamieson and Tim Southee. Because in Kanpur in both the innings he got out at balls that were pitching on and outside the off stump, whereas in Mumbai, especially in the first innings, he was ready to leave a lot of deliveries,” Laxman explained.
”He was keeping his front foot in the pitch of the ball and he was playing with a lot of discipline. But when the spinners came in he was using his feet a lot and I think he played with a mindset, which is similar to what he used to play in first-class and international cricket,” Laxman added.
“He has given a lot of importance to self-belief and it was great to see him coming in and expressing himself, and that’s why he hit some outstanding shots, especially against Ajaz Patel. His shot over long off and over extra cover for sixes are probably the best shots of his innings.”