Mayank Agarwal was one month shy of turning 19 when he represented India in the Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand in 2010. He didn't score many runs and was quickly overlooked. KL Rahul, his opening partner in that tournament, quite quickly started grabbing the attention of the media by virtue of his consistent performances in the domestic circuit. Mayank, on the other hand, had to wait for three more seasons to make his First-class debut for Karnataka.
He scored the odd half-centuries but, in the first couple of seasons, the big scores eluded him. He knew he had limited time on his hand and, in an interview prior to the start of the 2015-16 season, he lamented the fact that he was writing his own fate in a way that people may remember him as a limited-overs cricketer.
Things, fortunately for him, started to change from that season, albeit slowly. He scored his maiden century against Delhi that season in the Ranji Trophy. Then, next season, he started with a splendid 161 in the Duleep Trophy match. But there were no more big scores in that season and the doubters once again got into work mode.
He started the 2017-18 season rather poorly. In the second Ranji trophy match of the season, he scored a pair against Hyderabad. Then, from the match against Maharashtra, he got into a zone of his own. He scored a triple century in the first innings to start a dream run which continued till the end of November 2017.
He failed to continue with his run-scoring in the semi-final match against Vidarbha and his side lost a thrilling contest by 5 runs to end their Ranji Trophy campaign. He scored 1033 runs in November, a world record for most runs scored by a batsman in that month. He needed only 7 innings from 4 matches to score those runs.
The earlier record for the month of November belonged to Andy Flower who scored 753 runs in 2000.
Here is a list of Most First-class runs in a calendar month:
Hendren, Ponsford and Compton too needed only four matches to score the runs. Hendren is the only one to have scored all these runs on foreign soil- in West Indies. Ponsford's tally of 1146 in four months is remarkable.
It is even more mind-boggling if we consider that he had scored 1013 of them in one ground- the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Remarkable is once again the word that aptly describes Vusi Sibanda's effort of scoring 752 runs from 3 matches in October 2009.
Sibanda's 9 first-class centuries that season is a record for most centuries in a season outside England. Hutton's sequence in June 1949 has a curious sidelight attached to it. Hutton scored three ducks in as many innings in a span of four days in the middle of the month, yet managed to score the most runs by any batsman in a calendar month in first-class cricket.
All the names on this list, barring Agarwal, were either playing for their country during that time or were at the brink of selection by virtue of these performances. Let's see what's in store for Mayank Agarwal.