IND vs WI: Is Mayank Agarwal's selection a smart decision?Last updated on Sep 30, 2018, 12:52 pm
There was a huge sense of relief for Karnataka batsman Mayank Agarwal, as he was handed his maiden call-up to the Test squad.
His consistent knocks, over years, contributed to him being selected for the two-match Test series against the West Indies.
Mayank deserved this place more than anyone else and here we decode why.
Gritty Mayank has a bagful of runs to show
Mayank has been amongst the runs since last season and this is what went well for him.
He became the first one to score 2,000+ runs in a domestic season.
He was the top-scorer in 2017/18 Ranji with 1,160 runs at a stunning average of 105.45.
He continued in the same vein for India A and India B in List A and First-class matches.
Mayank was in the radar of selectors
Chief selector Prasad had given us an indication that Mayank could be selected for West Indies series as he was in the radar.
The player's talent is visible and he has been a cut above the rest.
Much like the middle-order batsman Hanuma Vihari, who got a call earlier, it was time that selectors gave Mayank his due.
Efforts like these do get noticed.
Mayank's inclusion sends the right message
The selectors have given a clear message, perform or perish.
Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan found it out the hard way after failing to produce performances away from home.
The selectors aren't afraid to try out new faces to build a quality side.
Mayank is 27, and this is the age where cricketers reach their peak.
The timing is superb for him.
Series against Windies is just the start
The batting friendly conditions at home could serve Mayank well.
He is likely to get an opportunity to open the innings along with KL Rahul.
But the fight isn't about scoring at home against a relatively weaker Test side.
The main target is India's tour of Australia and that's what Mayank will be thinking about at the back of his mind.
Mayank shouldn't suffer like Nair did
We all hope that Mayank will not meet the same fate as that of his Karnataka team-mate Karun Nair.
Nair was overlooked by the selectors and didn't get a single game despite being in the squad against England.
Mayank would be hoping that he gets to the pitch and bats rather than just warming the bench.
Let's wait and watch.
Ultimate challenge for Mayank is to score abroad
Mayank knows that the ultimate challenge is the Test tour away from home.
That's where openers have failed time and again. The selectors are looking for someone who can bat away from home and lay a foundation.
With a player of his calibre, Mayank could be the one India need to replace veteran Murali Vijay.
For now, let's wish him a special journey ahead.
Agarwal deserved the chance: Our take
We feel he is the perfect choice to be tried against West Indies. He knows KL Rahul from Karnataka days and the duo could be successful in the series. Further, 18-year old Prithvi Shaw would learn a lot from them. He deserved the chance completely.