Former India batsman VVS Laxman has hailed new opener Mayank Agarwal, who scored a brilliant double century in the first innings of the Test series opener against South Africa at Visakhapatnam.
Laxman said that Agarwal’s biggest strengths are his mental toughness and stability and he plays “fearlessly just like his favourite Virender Sehwag“.
“He (Agarwal) is a solid batsman and has approached this game like a domestic cricket match. Players usually change the way they play in domestic and international cricket, but he managed to maintain his style in both forms of cricket,” Laxman said on Star Sports’ Cricket Live programme.
“His mental toughness and stability are his strength and he plays fearlessly just like his favourite, Virender Sehwag,” he added.
Agarwal’s double century helped the Virat Kohli-led side post a mammoth first-innings total of 502/7 declared. The 28-year-old Karnataka batsman also became fourth Indian batsman after Dilip Sardesai, Vinod Kambli and Karun Nair to convert his maiden century into a double hundred. His innings was studded with 23 fours and six sixes.
Offspinner Harbhajan Singh also lavished praise on Agarwal. “Mayank Agarwal is a good batsman, he uses his feet well comes forward and hits and also executes reverse sweep shots. He has a lot in store and plays them when and where needed,” said Singh.
“He is a hardworking player; the players who come from domestic cricket background have learned a lot. They come in late but have so much knowledge and experience of the game that they value and understand every opportunity that the game brings to them.
“Rohit Sharma was trying a different game, but Mayank Agarwal stuck to his game played well,” he added.
With a 1-0 lead in the three-match series, India will aim to win the series in Pune when they face South Africa in the second Test beginning October 10.