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 Mayank Agarwal: Tragedy's child?

Uday Joshi
ANALYST
Feature
1.18K   //    Timeless


They say Meritocracy is a mere lip-service in India, and it's true in every sense and applies to every field. Cricket is no exception to it. Indian cricket is huge because we are a cricket frenzied nation of 1.3 billion people, where every child who picks up a bat or ball wants to play for the national side. When there are millions of talented people and only 11 seats available, what could anyone do?

We miss out on someone special amidst this chaos. The more the exposure for talent the easier it is for the selection process and that is the reason why there are levels in cricket where your performance matters. But, what if some unimaginable criteria existed for selections, not the performance?

The present Indian cricket team is bundled with talented people, as it always has been. There is a demigod in Virat Kohli and 10 other special players who form this team of eleven. But, like every team has some weaknesses, this team is no exception.

If there is one thing that worries every Indian cricket fan, it's the performance of the team overseas. You may call Indian cricket fans uneducated when it comes to technicalities of the game but you can't deny their love for this game. And the love consists of a bit of berating too. Players get used to such conditions since they were once the same too.

At present, the Indian team has been facing a lot of problems when it comes to opening and middle order in Test matches, and middle order specifically in the shorter formats. With vice-captain Rahane out of form since last year, the Indian batting has faced the brunt with sudden collapses; leaving everything to Kohli.

Though we saw Rayudu cementing his place at No. 4 in ODIs, there is still a lot of bricks needed to build a wall. KL Rahul, Dhawan, Vijay, Vihari, Shaw & Nair etc. There is no shallowness when it comes to talent in Indian cricket. And, for a captain, it's good to have headaches about selection.

Mayank Agarwal: only few would recognize this ex-RCB and KXIP player last season. But not many might have ever heard of him until the 2017-18 domestic season. That unheard name went on to score an insurmountable 1160 runs in 13 innings at a Bradmanesque avg of 105.4 which included 5 centuries, 2 half-centuries and a triple ton in Ranji trophy alone; and to add to this run feast he scored 772 runs at an average of 90.3, striking them at 107.91 with 3 tons and 4 half centuries in Vijay Hazare trophy. If Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy is included the total tally of runs becomes 2141!

Those are some record-shattering numbers.

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With such a fragile middle order in Tests shouldn't the selectors be rooting for Mayank? The Karnataka-lad was picked up for Windies tour and yet didn't get a chance to make an impression and then wasn't selected in the ODI series and the upcoming Australia tour.

Despite such glass-ceiling breaking numbers on his side, he hasn't been around the team this year. This could prove to be a Wasim Jaffer 2.0 story.

It's certain that Mayank won't be selected for 2019 WC, but whether he gets any opportunities to grab the limelight remains to be seen.

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