Mayank Agarwal was making up for lost time. Lost time because in 2017/18, he had scored close to 3000 runs in domestic cricket but was still not called up for the Indian cricket team. This streak of runs had him scoring 1000 runs in a single month. Despite all the mountain of runs, Agarwal was considered unlucky to not have been selected for India. An injury to Prithvi Shaw, failure of the openers in Australia was the catalyst for Agarwal to finally express himself in Tests in India. After the Vizag double and Pune ton against South Africa, Agarwal raised his game to the next level in Indore against Bangladesh. The Karnataka right-hander smashed 243, his highest individual score and was well aided by 86 from Ajinkya Rahane and a fifty from Ravindra Jadeja as India amassed a massive 493/6, leading by 343 runs at the end of the day at the Holkar stadium.
Agarwal had put up a fine display of batting as he dominated throughout the day. He saw off a tough opening period in which Abu Jayed was getting assistance of the wicket, consolidated in the middle period to grind the Bangladesh bowlers before launching into a full-blown assault that left Bangladesh running for cover in Indore. The day started positively for India as Cheteshwar Pujara notched up his fifty but for a brief period, Bangladesh dominated. Abu Jayed took Pujara's wicket for 54 as he edged a rising ball to gully but it was the wicket of Virat Kohli for 0 with a perfect nip-backer that showed his talent. Mominul Haque fortunately took the review which saw the ball hitting leg stump and Kohli was dismissed for 0 only for the third time in Tests in India.
Agarwal, Rahane deflate Bangladesh
However, the two strikes from Abu Jayed was perhaps the only brief moment when Bangladesh had something to cheer. From then on, it was India and only Agarwal dominating the show. Agarwal took a liking to Mehidy Hasan's bowling as he hit him for a couple of boundaries and a six to help him near his ton. However, on 82, he had a massive scare as he missed a sweep and was hit on the pad. Umpire Marais Erasmus gave him out and he opted for the review. Replays showed no bat but the ball was missing leg stump and he batted cautiously as India neared the lunch break.
Agarwal started off the post-lunch session in style by slamming Mehidy Hasan to the deep midwicket fence and he reached 99 by driving Ebadot Hossain straight down the ground to the long off fence. He notched up his century by tucking Ebadot to the on side for a couple and he raised his arms in jubilation. At the other end, Rahane was striking the ball confidently and made good progress. Agarwal notched up his 150 with a pulled four off Taijul and continued to make smooth progress.
After getting to his 150 with a boundary, Agarwal signalled his intentions with a six over long off of Taijul Islam but in the next over bowled by Mehidy Hasan, Agarwal launched a flighted delivery out of the ground. as Abu Jayed took his fourth wicket and broke the 190-run partnership when Rahane fell for 86 to Jayed. The right-hander neared his 200 with a couple of fours off Ebadot Hossain and a six followed by a boundary off Mehidy Hasan. The Indian opener notched up his double ton by launching Mehidy over deep midwicket for a six and the appetite for runs was showing.
Carnage towards the end
With just an hour left to play, Agarwal and Ravindra Jadeja primarily dealt in sixes. Agarwal, in particular, showed his Virender Sehwag-esque trait of getting to landmarks with sixes and fours and at one point, he and Jadeja were scoring at a rate of close to eight runs an over. Agarwal neared 250 but on 243, he slog swept Mehidy to deep midwicket but Jayed took a fantastic catch close to the boundary. Jadeja and Umesh Yadav continued depositing the ball out of the ground and by the end, India had hit a total of 13 sixes in the day as Bangladesh crumbled under the onslaught. After the end of the day's play, Mayank outlined his mindset regarding his ability to make big scores.
"In terms of mindset, the fear of failure and letting go of it helped me change a lot. After that I got hungry for runs. There have been times where I haven't gotten runs. Everytime I get set, I try to make it a point to convert into a big score," Agarwal said after the end of the day's play. Bowling the opposition out, score 500 and then strike again. Faf du Plessis had groaned how South Africa were undone by India in the recent Test series. After day two in Indore, Mominul Haque might join in the chorus with du Plessis.