After a string of low scores and abysmal starts, India finally presented a debut to Mayank Agarwal and he along with Hanuma Vihari gave India a solid start in the third Test at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground.
While Vihari dug deep, Mayank was the more expressive and hit the ground running with a couple of sumptuous drive. He looked comfortable and looked every bit the part of Test cricket as he brought out all his first-class experience into play.
He looked in control at all times and was not too hesitant in going after the spinner Nathan Lyon. He brought up his maiden 50 in his maiden appearance in Test cricket, and in the process scripted an enviable record.
Agarwal looked to be in the groove
The right-hander became the seventh Indian opener to breach the 50-runs mark. Also, he became only the third opener this year to score a 50 on debut.
As far as the Indian record is concerned, Mayank became only the second Indian player after Dattu Phadkar to score a 50 on debut in Australia and only the second Indian opener after Sunil Gavaskar to score a 50 on debut away from home.
Pat Cummins, who was the pick of the Australian bowling attack, got rid of Mayank on the stroke of tea with a short-pitched ball which reared up and took the right-hander's gloves through to wicket-keeper Tim Paine. As he walked out for 76, it was a job well done and in the process, became the Indian opener with the highest personal score in overseas conditions.
Before the match, Mayank's personal coach Irfan Sait had said that his ward has the ability to play a Virender Sehwag like innings.
"I wouldn't like to make any comparisons, but Sehwag (many a times) appeared laid back and casual in his approach. Mayank never looked casual. He is intense and a very serious player," Sait said before the match.