Ranji Trophy: Battling fever, Karnataka opener Mayank emerges a strong soldier

Updated: 09 December, 2017 11:44 IST | Subodh Mayure | Nagpur

There is no substitute for hard work and who would know it better than Karnataka opener Mayank Agarwal, this Ranji season's top run-scorer

There is no substitute for hard work and who would know it better than Karnataka opener Mayank Agarwal, this Ranji season's top run-scorer. Agarwal, 26, who was very inconsistent with the bat last year, had to make a lot of changes in his batting technique, but a positive approach towards the game and sheer determination saw him pass the tough phase with ease.

Mayank Agarwal (left) with his personal batting coach RX Muralidhar

Though the Ranji Trophy season started in October, for Bangalore boy Agarwal, the season began in July under the watchful eyes of his personal batting coach RX Muralidhar. Although Agarwal missed out on a ton against Mumbai in the Ranji quarter-final yesterday, Muralidhar was not disappointed. "I did not watch him bat because I was travelling. We spoke yesterday (on Thursday) and he was unwell. I think he is playing with fever after taking antibiotics. Scoring 78 proves he had a good day in the office. This sport is such that sometimes you will score, and at times, you may not. He batted today as well, which is creditable," Muralidhar told mid-day over the phone from Ahmedabad yesterday.

Back home, Agarwal's day begins at 7 in the morning. He lives on the outskirts of Bangalore. From his residence, the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) is about 40 km away where he does his physical training and other exercises. It doesn't end there. He then goes to RX Cricket Academy in Marakalli at 11 am, which is another 22km from KSCA and trains there till 3 pm.

Scoring was never a problem for Agarwal. Whichever team he played for -- India U-19, India 'A', Karnataka U-22 or the Karnataka senior team -- runs were always under his belt. However, Muralidhar felt that consistency was lacking from his performance. "We used to have simulation practice. He used to face different kinds of balls on different surfaces -- cement, mat and artificial turf. We were not working on the shots, but on the situation," the coach revealed.

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First Published: 09 December, 2017 11:18 IST

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