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Agarwal revels in marathon double century

Ind v SA, 1st Test, day two, reaction

India opener Mayank Agarwal, who converted his maiden Test century into a double ton on day two of the first Test against South Africa in Visakhapatnam, was extremely pleased with his individual effort and the game's overall progress.

Agarwal had earned his maiden Test cap in the Boxing Day Test against Australia last December and scored a fifty in his first outing for a winning cause. A three-figure mark didn't elude him for long, as he marched his way to 215 on Thursday, 3 October, hitting 23 fours and six sixes before being dismissed by Dean Elgar.

The right-hander, who has been a consistent performer in the Indian domestic circuit, and aggregated 2,141 runs in the 2017-18 season alone, couldn't be more pleased with his maiden Test ton. 

"The word 'finally' makes a difference, but I am happy with the way I played," Agarwal told the host broadcasters at the end of the second day's play. "I'm extremely happy. It's a feeling that I really can't describe. It's my first hundred, and to make it a double."

His opening partner, Rohit Sharma too blossomed in his maiden Test innings as an opener, scoring a stroke-filled 176 which had an exactly identical boundary count to Agarwal. The Karnataka batsman heaped praise on Rohit, the limited-overs vice-captain, as he reflected on the 317-run partnership.

If Rohit and myself, we can keep batting together like this, it will make it really hard for the opposition.

Mayank Agarwal

"If Rohit and myself, we can keep batting together like this, it will make it really hard for the opposition," he said. "We had a really good partnership, to lay the foundation. The way he (Rohit) dominated the spinners was great to see from the other end. Initially, it (the pitch) did do a bit for their seamers. As the sun came out, it got better."

The 28-year-old identified patience and hard work as the key virtues for his success. "To be very honest, I would like to say you need to think about your own game. You go through different emotions – somewhere you feel, maybe I am batting well, maybe I will get my chance, but it doesn't work like that. You've got to be patient and keep working."

India eventually declared at 502/7 in the final session of play, before spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja took three quick wickets to have the visitors reduced to 39/3 at stumps. The pitch already looks conducive for spinners, with ample turn on offer, aided further by erratic bounce.

"As we came to the lunch on the second day, the ball started keeping low, and around tea, it started turning," Agarwal said on the conditions. "Good signs for us."

On Ashwin and Jadeja, he said, "They have bowled with good pressure. If we can keep bowling tight areas, and the way the wicket is playing now, I think we can benefit from it."

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