India vs South Africa: Sanjay Bangar "Not Surprised" By Mayank Agarwal's Fluent Knock On Day 1 of Centurion Test
Mayank Agarwal took the attack to the South African pacers in the first session even as KL Rahul took his time to get going in Centurion.
India ended the first day of the first Test against South Africa in Centurion on a comfortable score of 272/3 with opener KL Rahul staying unbeaten on 122. Captain Virat Kohli scored a stroke-filled 35 while Ajinkya Rahane stayed unbeaten on 40. But the most telling contribution came from the willow of Rahul's opening partner Mayank Agarwal. Mayank took the attack to the South African pacers in the first session even as Rahul took his time to get going. The Karnataka batter played shots all around the park to blunt the attack, which allowed him and Rahul to share a 117-run stand.
The opening partnership laid the foundation of the strong batting display from the tourists. Agarwal, who has impressed at home and away, scored a century and a half-century in the second Test against New Zealand in Mumbai and seems to have carried the form on this tour. It augurs well for India as they are missing the services of Rohit Sharma, who was in top form on the tour of England.
Former India batting coach Sanjay Bangar lauded Mayank for his effort and said that he wasn't surprised to see the opener bat so well because he has done it in the past as well. Bangar cited Mayank's performance from his debut tour of Australia, where he made an immediate impact and that the batter has a good all-round game.
"I'm not surprised at all, because on the first tour, the debut tour wherein he made his debut in Melbourne and the kind of innings that he played at Sydney in the first Australian series which India won, he played a crucial role. Yes, he had certain blips when he went to New Zealand but apart from that he has shown that he can score runs all around the world.
"His hunger for runs, his judgement outside off stump as well as the ability to put bad balls to boundary. That is critical because as an opening batsman, yes you won't leave a lot of balls outside off stump, but when the ball comes to hit, when the ball is in your zone, when the ball is overpitched and is on the legs, it is very critical that the batsman makes it count, which Mayank does pretty well," Bangar said.
Mayank was dismissed for 60 but his innings had given India a strong platform on which the likes of Rahul, Kohli and Rahane consolidated.