It is always disappointing to get out for a duck in cricket. But it is a horrible feeling if it is repeated in the same match, resulting in a pair. This happened to Karnataka's Mayank Agarwal last month against Hyderabad in Ranji Trophy.
But how did he respond to this huge setback? With a monumental innings.
The 26-year-old opener entered history books with his maiden triple hundred (304 not out) in next knock after two successive zeroes. What an incredible comeback this was.
Mayank is only the 43rd batsman in Ranji Trophy history to have crossed the coveted 300-run mark. In this season of the premier domestic tournament, he is the third in the club after Prashant Chopra (Himachal Pradesh) and Hanuma Vihari (Andhra).
"It is a very good feeling to have got a triple hundred. I got a pair in the last game and to have got something like this, I am extremely happy," Mayank told International Business Times, India in an exclusive interview today (November 4).
The right-hander from Bengaluru batted for over 12 hours against Maharashtra at Pune's MCA Stadium to reach a memorable 304 not out (494 balls, 28x4, 4x6) on Friday (November 3).
Thanks to his mammoth effort, Karnataka posted 628/5 declared and today won by an innings and 136 runs to complete hat-trick of wins.
When asked whether he was thinking of a triple ton, Mayank, often branded as limited-overs specialist, said he was focused on the "process" than any milestone.
"Coming into this game I just wanted to give my best. I was focused on the process. I never thought I would get (300)," he admitted.
He continued, "To be honest, till 250 I never thought about it (triple ton). After I crossed 250 I thought I can get there but reminded myself that I should keep doing what I was doing. I said to myself whatever has to come will come. I never focused on triple ton."
Since the start of his cricket career, Mayank has idolised Virender Sehwag. Now, he has emulated his hero by hitting a triple ton. Sehwag did it twice, in Test cricket. He is the only Indian to have scored two triple hundreds (309 and 319).
Mayank might have modelled his batting on Sehwag but the youngster said the "Nawab of Najafgarh" is "very unique" and nobody can match his batting.
"To be honest there is only one Virender Sehwag. He is very unique and a great character. I have idolised him. I have always looked up to him. I really enjoyed the way he played the game. I have been fortunate enough to meet him and interact with him a couple of times. He told me to enjoy the game," he spoke of his idol.
The Karnataka opening batsman said he was "fortunate" to have played in the Indian Premier League (IPL) which helped him pick the brains of several top international cricketers including MS Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh and Steve Smith.
"IPL is a great platform for any young cricketer. I was fortunate to have played IPL at the age of 19. It was a great experience for me to play among all international cricketers. You get to know where you stand. Experience was overwhelming.
"They (Dhoni, Yuvraj, Smith and others) always backed me. They always said to focus on the process and don't think too much on the results and keep working hard. They told me to give importance to every game be it practice, state-level or any other match. They told me to enjoy every innings," he elaborated on IPL experience.
Mayank was part of Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), Delhi Daredevils (DD) and recently Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS).
Being a part of India 'A' meant Mayank could learn from former captain and batting legend Rahul Dravid, who is the team's coach.
Talking about the advice he got from Dravid, he said, "Obviously he (Dravid) is one of the greatest batsmen India ever had. His experience helped me. His advice to me was 'playing according to the situation'."
Expectations could rise in the coming days after a triple ton but Mayank is unfazed by them. He wants to control what he can and leave the rest.
"Those (expectations) are the things which you can't control. I don't want to focus on things which I can't control. What I can do is focus on things which have got me to this stage and continue the same," he signed off.
(Mayank Agarwal is the third Karnataka batsman after KL Rahul and Karun Nair to hit a triple ton in Ranji Trophy. So far he has played 32 first-class, 46 List A (50 overs) and 91 Twenty20s. He made his first-class debut in 2013, against Jharkhand in Mysore. He has played for India Under-19, India 'A' and three teams in IPL. He also played in ICC Under-19 World Cup 2010 in New Zealand).