”Your character stood out for me than the number of runs you scored,” said India skipper Virat Kohli while explaining his decision to give opening Mayank Agarwal a Test debut in the 2018-19 Australia series. Mayank Agarwal had made his Test debut against Australia in the third Test of the four-match series. Playing the third Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Agarwal managed to register a half-century in his very first innings in the longest format. “I had seen you play for RCB, even then you played international bowlers with conviction and you would take them on. You were performing in first-class matches in a dominating way. That is something always stood out with you, I would say your character stood out for me than the number of runs. I knew you would be fearless without having any baggage,” Kohli told Mayank Agarwal in a video posted on the official website of BCCI.
In the longest format of the game, Agarwal has managed to score 974 runs from 11 matches at an average of 57.29 with three centuries as an opening batsman.
The Indian skipper also explained as to what makes him notice in a player and added that it is important that guys in the team look to face new challenges and emerge triumphantly.
“For me, the biggest marker is how a person approaches the game, so for example when you opened and we made Vihari open with you. The first opportunity we presented Vihari to open the batting, he said yes to it and that matters me to the most,” Kohli said.
“I opened in my first series for India, I said yes to this opportunity and things worked out fine for me. So, a guy who wants to get into tough situations will come out either holding his head high or learning from his mistakes,” he added.
Kohli and Mayank would soon be seen in action for Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kings XI Punjab respectively in the Indian Premier League (IPL) starting from September 19 in the UAE.
The comparisons between Kohli and Sachin Tendulkar keep on growing and many have picked the current Indian skipper to break the records set by Tendulkar.
Tendulkar called time on his career after registering 100 international centuries, while Kohli currently has 70 centuries across all formats.
At present, Kohli is ranked at the top spot in the ICC ODI rankings while he is in the second place in Tests rankings. Kohli has so far played 86 Tests, scoring 7,240 runs with 27 centuries at an average of 53.62.
His knock of 254 against South Africa at Pune in 2019 remains his highest Test score to date. When it comes to ODIs, the current Indian skipper has played 248 matches and has 43 centuries.
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