Mayank Agarwal had a memorable outing last season. Being consistent in the domestic tournaments paid off for the Karnataka batsman as he broke into the India Test team.
Maintaining his form, Agarwal amassed 332 runs in 13 games in the recently-concluded Indian Premier League, and he says that his stint with the Kings XI Punjab has been a learning curve.
“I thought I batted well. I was going at a good strike rate, but something I could learn from this IPL was closing out games. I hope to come back and do a lot more next year,” Agarwal told Sportstar on the sidelines of CEAT Cricket Awards.
Despite a good start to the season, Kings XI lost the plot mid-way and failed to qualify for the play-offs. Agarwal admitted that the close games in which the results went against its favour did hurt the team. “We started the tournament well but lost out on few crucial games. You (end up being) on the losing side, because you are not being able to close out the game despite playing well. I thought that’s something we can learn as a team and come back strong next year,” Agarwal said.
While Agarwal is disappointed with the team’s outing, he is happy to see his old friend, KL Rahul, striking form ahead of the World Cup. “He is a very good player. He has got a lot of runs, everywhere. That tells everything we need to know about KL Rahul as a player. He has been batting well and I am happy that he is getting runs. The more confident the players are, the better it is for the side (ahead of the World Cup),” he said.
Agarwal wants to learn to close out games better for Kings XI Punjab after the 2019 IPL learning experience. PHOTO: AFP
On a personal front, he is looking forward to the World Test Championships, which begins after the World Cup. “It is something we are looking forward to. We have time to prepare for that. We are going to do what it takes to go out there and play our best cricket. There are learnings that we have taken from the Australia tour. With those learnings, I am going to sit back and think about how we can improve,” he said.
“The motto of the team has been that even if we win or lose, we try to keep getting better. Once we do that, we are a very good unit,” he added.
Agarwal, who is not part of India’s World Cup squad, plans to train hard and work on his fitness. “This is the best time to up our fitness game, get fit and work on aspects that’s harder to do during season,” he said.
Article source: https://sportstar.thehindu.com/cricket/ipl/ipl-news/ipl-2019-mayank-agarwal-kings-xi-punjab-india-icc-cricket-world-cup-kl-rahul/article27117620.ece