New Delhi: Mayank Agarwal scored runs at a canter for Karnataka in the Ranji Trophy and continues to do so in the Vijay Hazare Trophy but still couldn't find a place in the India squad for the T20 tri-series in Sri Lanka, where a number of seniors players have been rested and youngsters like Deepak Hooda and Washington Sundar will be put to test. But Agarwal, who was given cold shoulder by the BCCI selectors, isn't perturbed and answered the snub with another sublime knock in the Vijay Hazare Trophy final on Tuesday.
Karnataka and Saurashtra reached the summit clash of the premier domestic one-day tournament, where the latter put their opponents in to bat at the Feroz Shah Kotla ground in Delhi.
Karnataka got off to a horror start when reduced to 5/2 in the third over, with opener Karun Nair bowled by Shaurya Sanandia for nought and No. 3 KL Rahul run out without scoring as well. But R Samarth and Pawan Deshpande struck important partnerships with a counter-attacking Agarwal, who scored 90 in just 79 balls, including 11 fours and three sixes.
He was dismissed by Dharmendrasinh Jadeja, after which the Karnataka batting folded up for 253 all out in 45.5 overs.
Agarwal's dream purple patch this season racked up 1160 runs in the Ranji Trophy, including five centuries, and 723 in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, including three hundreds and four fifties.
“I am very happy the way I’m batting. I’m in a good mindset and that is something I want to carry as long as I can," a happy Agarwal told Zee Media after hitting 140 in the Vijay Hazare Trophy quarterfinal.
“I look to see the ball minutely and middle every ball. As long that is happening, the rest is automatically taken care of. I’m just taking it ball by ball and not thinking too much,” he said.
Agarwal has credited his dream run to the "awareness" aspect of his game.
“If there is one thing that has helped me is the awareness. I’m a lot more aware of my thoughts. It’s maturity. I’m not trying to follow anyone but I have figured out my way of playing the game,” he said.
“I’m being more aware of my thoughts and game. Also understanding my game better has helped me. In the past year and a half, I understand my strengths better, where I can get more runs, my boundary strokes, what is running in my mind, whether I’m too eager or getting complacent or feeling pressure. All of that has helped me.”
India have rested as many as six players for next month's T20I tri-series in Sri Lanka.
Captain Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Hardik Pandya and Kuldeep Yadav have all been given a well-deserved break after a gruelling tour of South Africa.
Hooda, Washington, Vijay Shankar, Mohammad Siraj and Rishabh Pant are the beneficiaries of the selectors' decision of resting important players.
However, Agarwal didn't let the snub affect his batting and answered it in the best possible way - with his bat.