Perseverance The Key To Success For Overlooked Mayank Agarwal
The selectors must have considered the way Agarwal had been performing since the last season
The words patience and perseverance often go hand to hand in numerous circumstances. We always talk about how important it is for a person to have these attributes in times of difficulty and crisis. Whenever we want to achieve something different, the path leading to which is often full of stern tests, obstacles and perpetrators, the aforementioned attributes are extremely important to have.
However, what we forget is patience is something we run out of when we don't get the desired results despite performing our level best or even better than others in the reckoning for a continued period of time. That is when perseverance becomes important. It is the will to persistently follow our passion to reach our goal despite any kind of delay, difficulty or any obstacle whatsoever in our path. And that is exactly what Karnataka batsman Mayank Agarwal needs to have after being continuously ignored for national selection despite churning out consistent runs in domestic cricket and on India A tours.
If there is one word to describe the last one year that Agarwal had in terms of his playing career, that is extraordinary. Over 2000 runs across a domestic season is no child’s play. It all started with the 2017-18 Ranji Season when he blasted 1160 runs in 13 innings—the highest in that season. That run tally included five of his eight career centuries in the format which in itself shows how prolific a season he had. He did not stop there and went on to smash 723 runs in 8 innings in the 2017-18 edition of the Vijay Hazare Trophy which was a record in itself for any interstate domestic List A tournament. And to cap that off he struck three fifties in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament too.
In spite of such brilliant performances, he was ignored for the Nidahas Trophy in Sri Lanka just after the end of the domestic competitions. And then it was Rishabh Pant who was included in the Test squad for England tour ahead of Agarwal after the former had a terrific IPL season which, although a totally different format, had become one of the main criteria of selection. Agarwal could have been distraught with those two decisions. He could have lost the urge to perform with the disappointment of being overlooked. However, he had shown a strong character and maturity even then.
“Sir, you are spot on and I am not in a hurry at all,” the 27-year old had said after being overlooked by chief selector MSK Prasad for the Nidahas Trophy.
And even Prasad had praised Mayank for the maturity with which he was handling his snub from the squad.
“We have followed a pattern in our selection process. Each and every national contender is in the queue and we don’t believe that anyone can jump the queue. Mayank is a wonderful kid and he completely understood what I explained to him,” Prasad had said.
Things once again looked likely for Mayank’s maiden Indian team call up after Murali Vijay’s torrid time as an opener in the first three Tests against England. He was all set to be dropped and Mayank appeared to be the most likely candidate to be called up. After all, he was smashing away centuries and double centuries on India A tours at his own sweet will. However, the selectors once again overlooked him and called up the young Prithvi Shaw as the replacement.
Shaw's experience in English conditions, the way he had been playing in these conditions since he was a 11 year old might be one factor leading the selectors to pick him over Mayank as both are openers. Moreover, while Mayank failed to make a mark in some four day matches for India A, Shaw went about his business and kept scoring big runs thus leading to the selection.
But the selectors must have considered the way Agarwal had been performing since the last season. Shaw is still young and has time on his side. But Agarwal is already 27 years old and is in the form of his life. Patience is probably something that Agarwal might not have now. The question is whether he can have the perseverance to see through the start of another season with some more big scores, so that it would make a case for him to be selected for the upcoming Asia Cup or the tour of Australia.
Disappointment and frustration are common after such consecutive snubs. But he has shown tremendous fighting and bearing capabilities and is still continuing to show that. Selection is not in his hands but performing well is definitely there. So, his focus needs to be on the upcoming domestic season, he needs to perform in such a way that it becomes impossible to ignore him next time.