Being a team sport, it is essential that the players within the roster have good coordination and chemistry amongst themselves. And Kings XI Punjab had no qualms with that after they acquired the services of childhood amigos KL Rahul as well as Mayank Agarwal during the 2017 VIVO Indian Premier League auctions.
A poignant moment in their friendship was demonstrated when Agarwal made his Test debut for India in the series against Australia when he was selected to replace Rahul. Without any bitterness or jealousy, Rahul tweeted out his support for his statesman and dear friend, who went on to score a fifty on debut off the back of those good wishes.
Seeing my Best Friend getting his cap and debuting for the Country makes me so Happy and Proud today. 👑🤗— K L Rahul (@klrahul11) December 26, 2018
Upwards and Onwards my brother, you’re just getting started Monkus. 💪🏽 @mayankcricket
#295 🇮🇳 pic.twitter.com/r9n61VRewB
“We've never really competed with each other because for us it was always about trying to give your best and trying to help the other give his best,” Agarwal tells kxip.in
The duo, who’ve played together since the Under-13 level for their state side Karnataka, have formed a good partnership both on and off the field ever since. “He was a really thin, not so tall guy back then. He was from Mangalore and I was from Bangalore and we played a season of U-13 cricket together. Then we played U-15, U-17 and represented India U-19 together,” Agarwal remembers.
Even in the IPL, the pair were brilliant while batting together, especially in the home game against Sunrisers Hyderabad in April earlier this year. Rahul and Agarwal put on a 114-run stand which helped the Shers over the line, with Agarwal battling through an injury in that game.
“The way Mayank came out, the way he was striking gave me a little bit of time, He hurt his finger, he was in pain, to play that sort of innings was incredible," Rahul had revealed after the game, speaking highly on his mate’s courageous innings.
Apart from being adept batsmen and pulverizing innumerable opponents to the ground through their partnerships, the duo also spend a lot of time off the field as well.
“We did not speak only about cricket. We used to go to movies together, dine out together and that's how we became closer. KL Rahul as a person is very funny and witty, very friendly and willing to help,” said Agarwal.