Mayank Agarwal to emulate his Ranji Trophy performance of 2017-18

Ranji Trophy

Karnataka skipper Mayank Agarwal is gearing up to emulate his 2017-18 season performance in this year’s Ranji Trophy.

In the 2017-18 season, Mayank scored 1160 runs in 13 matches for his state.

Agarwal is currently not focusing on making a comeback to the Indian Test side.

Moreover, Punjab Kings have released him from the squad ahead of the auctions.

But now he is the skipper of the Karnataka side as his team reached the knockout stages of both the 50-over and 20-over domestic tournaments.

Manish Pandey has been removed from the post of captaincy as he had a pretty mediocre season last year.

Excerpts from Agarwal’s interview before opening match of Ranji Trophy

I’ve been working on emulating what I did in 2017-18, when I had that good season. I’ve gone back a little bit, looked at those videos, gone through those game plans and worked around that.

Adds Agarwal,

For me, that result or the end goal [India selection] will take care of itself. I want to look at my processes, areas I need to improve on and what I need to do to to keep performing the way I was doing. And I back myself to deliver those performances.

Karnataka have a rather star-studded batting lineup for this year’s Ranji Trophy. The likes of R Samarth, Devdutt Paddikal and Manish Pandey are there to bolster things at the top.

The only person missing from this squad is Karun Nair who has fallen out of the selectors’ favour from past three seasons.

Some new youngsters have made it into the squad this season. They are Nikin Jose who has been the highest run-getter for Karnataka in the Vijay Hazare Trophy this year.

The other one is Vishal Onat who has been doing pretty well in age-group cricket.

Mayank’s opinions on Nikin Jose and Vishal Onat

We have to keep encouraging them, create a good environment for them to flourish. They’re in the team because of the performances they have put in age-group cricket. Nikin did very well in the Vijay Hazare as well. We want him to continue that form. As a team, we want to have an atmosphere where they can come, learn, execute and flourish, put up match-winning performances for Karnataka and play for the country.

Karnataka’s first game of this year’s Ranji Trophy is against Services.

The state last won the Ranji Trophy back in 2014-15 but since then has stumbled in the knockout stages of the tournament. In 2018-19 and 2019-20, Karnataka crashed out in the semifinals against Saurashtra and Bengal respectively.

Moreover, in the last season, they were upstaged by Uttar Pradesh in the quarterfinals of the tournament.

Concludes Agarwal,

We’ve spoken of the legacy [of Karnataka cricket] and realised if we keep thinking of winning, winning, winning all the time, it’s not going to happen. That said, we’ve spoken of how hungry we are, but we also have to make a plan and be adaptable. Be disciplined. If we can do that, with the skillsets we have, the results will take care of itself. We are determined to win, there are no two ways about it. We want to win trophies for Karnataka.

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