Batsman Mayank Agarwal opened the batting for India in ODI cricket recently and will play for the Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League later this month.
Agarwal is part of a Kings XI Punjab squad gunning for glory in the Indian Premier League. Prior to the IPL, though, he will likely open the batting in India's two-Test series against New Zealand.
“I have watched the games England and New Zealand played and just had a little bit of an idea about what can come when India goes to New Zealand, but without getting overly engrossed – understand the challenges and tweak whatever needs tweaking,” Agarwal told ESPNcricinfo.
“Obviously their fast bowling attack and how they operate. Looked into what are the things they do with the new ball, how they come back in the second spell, and how they bowl with the old ball, things like that.”
Agarwal – ‘Sometimes 100 is not enough'
The right-handed Agarwal has struck three Test centuries. Two of those were converted into double-centuries, against South Africa and Bangladesh last year. Seven of his 11 centuries in first-class cricket have climbed to 150 or more.
“Sometimes 100 is not enough. More often than not, you have to go on to score bigger runs than that and have the hunger to continue to bat long. Setting targets for yourself where you are looking at sessions or situations, your team doesn't have to bat twice. So things like that have really got the best out of me,” he added.
“As a cricketer I now understand that you're not going to succeed always. You're not always going to have a great series or a great year. It then becomes important that when you're getting those runs and when you're having a good season, you've got to make it big. Because you know, as a sportsman, that there will be a time where you go through a little lull. And if you have been true and you've worked hard and scored runs when things were going well, it can take the pressure off you. And also you'll have a template to get back to scoring big.”
The first Test will start in Wellington on Friday, 21 February. Christchurch will host the second from 29 February.