Opener Mayank Agarwal extended his rich vein of form to slam his second double-century in the first Test against Bangladesh at Indore on Friday.
Agarwal’s hunger for runs was evident during the course of his maiden double-century against South Africa last month, where he converted his first three-digit score in international cricket to a double.
The 28-year-old was dropped last evening by Imrul Kayes when on 32 but that was the only chance he gave Bangladesh. He started the day on 37 along with Cheteshwar Pujara and allowed his senior partner to attack initially.
India then got a major jolt when both Pujara and skipper, Virat Kohli fell to Abu Jayed in the space of three overs. However, Mayank Agarwal joined hands with vice-captain, Ajinkya Rahane, to rebuild the innings watchfully.
Agarwal, who was retained by KXIP for the 2020 season of the VIVO Indian Premier League, was naturally the more aggressive of the two, regularly hitting boundaries, interspersed with the occasional hit over the fence, and rotating strike to walk into lunch at 91*.
He wasted no time after lunch, hitting a couple of boundaries and running a couple to bring up his third international hundred in 183 balls, his second of the month.
Continuing to attack after reaching his landmark, Mayank Agarwal averaged almost a boundary every over, and even reached his 150 with a hit to the fence. He briefly called for the physio when he appeared to be struggling from cramps but was not disturbed for too long.
Rahane fell soon after tea, bringing an end to a mammoth 190-run partnership, one which rescued India from a slightly tricky position and gave them the upper hand. Mayank remained unfazed though, as he continued to pile on the boundaries.
His crowning moment came in the 99th over of the innings. Mayank, batting on 196, danced down the track as he had so often done and lifted the ball into the mid-wicket stands to bring up a double-century, in a Sehwag-esque manner.
With that hit, he became only the second Indian batsman to bring up his double-century with a six after Rohit Sharma. He also became only the second Indian opener to have two double tons in a season after Vinoo Mankad.
Indian openers with two double tons in a season:— Umang Pabari (@UPStatsman) November 15, 2019
Vinoo Mankand, 1955/56
Mayank Agarwal, 2019/20*#INDvBAN
It took him just 12 innings to score a second Test double, which was the second-fewest number of innings to achieve the feat. Only Vinod Kambli has done it in fewer innings (5).
Fewest innings to two 200s— Deepu Narayanan (@deeputalks) November 15, 2019
05 Vinod Kambli
12 MAYANK AGARWAL
13 Don Bradman
14 Lawrence Rowe
15 Graeme Smith
16 Wally Hammond#INDvBAN
It was also the first time any team had scored individual double-tons in four consecutive Tests.
The first instance of individual 200s for any team in four consecutive Tests— Deepu Narayanan (@deeputalks) November 15, 2019
Mayank 215 Vizag
Kohli 254* Pune
Rohit 212 Ranchi
Mayank 202* Indore#INDvBAN
The Kings XI Punjab batsman did not stop there though, becoming more brutal towards the Bangladesh bowlers. He hit three boundaries and sixes each and was racing towards his 250 but holed out to mid-wicket when looking for yet another maximum. It brought an end to a supreme innings, one which was studded with 28 fours and eight sixes.
It was the most number of sixes by an Indian batsman in a Test innings, a record he shares with former opener, Navjot Singh Sidhu.
Mayank Agarwal’s eight sixes in this innings is now the joint most by an Indian in a Test innings alongside Navjot Sidhu. He achieved the feat against Sri Lanka at Lucknow in 1994.#INDvBAN— Umang Pabari (@UPStatsman) November 15, 2019
He has been on a roll since October, with his form also benefitting his state team, Karnataka who won the Vijay Hazare trophy recently.