For the past 12 months, Mayank Agarwal has been a name to reckon with in First-Class cricket. His record in the past two seasons has been impeccable. He scored 1,516 runs off 15 matches at an average of 68.90 including 4 centuries and 8 half-centuries. Finally, KL Rahul and Murali Vijay’s failure in the top order paved the way for Agarwal’s debut at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), Melbourne in Boxing Day Test on December 26.
The 27-year-old grabbed the opportunity with both hands scoring a half-century on debut. In a Test series where Australian bowlers have haunted Indian openers, Agarwal played out the first session and scored 76 runs off 161 deliveries including 8 fours and 1 six.
The Karnataka batsman created history on his debut too. He scored the highest score for an Indian batsman making debut in Australia. He lost his wicket to Pat Cummins in the 55th over of Day 1 doing his job well to play out the new ball. He got India into the driver’s seat as they finished the Day 1 with 215 for 2.
The debutant’s gritty innings got an applause for the Australian crowd as he walked back to the dressing room. He was appreciated on Twitter as well for making it count on the first opportunity he got:
Fine debut for Mayank Agarwal. May not have been a hundred but he played like he belonged.
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) December 26, 2018
A comparison like this
Till this innings – Indian openers made 97 runs in 8 innings on this tour.
4(Rahul + Vijay) – 21 = 1 Mayank Agarwal.#AUSvIND
— Sorabh Pant (@hankypanty) December 26, 2018
— Mohandas Menon (@mohanstatsman) December 26, 2018
We don’t see any other option
— Sumanth Raman (@sumanthraman) December 26, 2018
Well played @mayankcricket superb start to your international career. 1 wicket in the session. India should be reasonably pleased with what has happened so far.
— Boria Majumdar (@BoriaMajumdar) December 26, 2018
That’s what we demanded
Trial by fire and debutant Mayank Agarwal passes it with flying colours with a fine half century. Bravo!
— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) December 26, 2018
Another late bloomer?
Like Shikhar Dhawan, Mayank Agarwal made his Test debut against Australia at the mature age of 27, with much experience at the first class level. Mayank’s first Test innings may not have the dash of Dhawan’s, but it has been equally impressive, given the state of the series.
— Ramachandra Guha (@Ram_Guha) December 26, 2018
Never ever give up!
When KL Rahul made his Test debut on Boxing Day 2014, Mayank Agarwal was almost discarded from his team due to fitness issues. Exactly four years later, Mayank marks his debut on the same ground as Rahul.
— Sreshth Shah (@sreshthx) December 26, 2018
Sending Lyon back to the den
.@mayankcricket well played.
Quality attack, imposing arena, makeshift partner, series in the balance, flown in from home, nothing mattered.
— Abhishek Mukherjee (@ovshake42) December 26, 2018
A mountain of runs by @mayankcricket finally got the 5 (or 3) wise men to give him his due. A good debut by him. I hope he gets a consistent run and goes from strength to strength.
— Anirudh Chaudhry (@AnirudhChaudhry) December 26, 2018
I think India should be very happy with the way things turned up for them on day 1. Loved watching @mayankcricket bat, they just need to push up the scoring rate tomorrow.#AUSvIND #TestCricket #cricket
— R P Singh (@rpsingh) December 26, 2018
Here’s a look at Agarwal’s flamboyant innings:
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) December 26, 2018