Rahul Dravid motivated me a lot before I earned a call up for India: Mayank Agarwal

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Mayank Agarwal, who has had a stellar start to his International career which kicked off a year and a half ago with a knock of 76 against Australia at the MCG in the boxing day Test match, credited Rahul Dravid for keeping him motivated right until he got his Test cap.

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In a videocast on ESPNCricinfo, hosted by Sanjay Manjrekar, Agarwal said, “I was getting runs you know. I got massive runs that Ranji Trophy season and for India A. I did have a word with Rahul bhai. I told him I was getting thoughts of sometimes not getting picked. I very clearly remember him telling me ‘Mayank these are the things that are in your hands. You have worked hard, you have gotten here. You are as close as you can get. Selection is not in your hands’.”
“And I totally agreed with him. Theoretically you understand that but practically it’s not easy. But he put forth few things, ‘What is to say that the coming October and November is not going to be different from September. If you think otherwise you will get into a negative mind frame it’s you who is going to lose out and nobody else’. So I remembered that talk and that kept me going.”
“When I got the call I was elated and I called him up and thanked him,” Agarwal added.

Since his debut in the boxing day Test match in 2018/19, Agarwal has already notched up two double centuries for India in Tests and has been able to add much needed solidarity at the top of the order in the last couple of years. In 17 innings so far, he has scored 974 runs at an average of 57.29 with three centuries at the top of the order. However, on his previous tour, which was in New Zealand, he managed only one half-century in four Test innings. With the BCCI planning to play a plethora of Test matches in the upcoming year, Agarwal needs to brush off his underwhelming performance in New Zealand and start afresh.