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‘Woke up on Day 2,’ Mayank Agarwal tells Ajinkya Rahane on nervousness before maiden Test ton

  Playing his first Test at home, India opener Mayank Agarwal made most out of the opportunity and converted his maiden century into a double-hundred in the first Test against South Africa at Visakhapatnam. The Karnataka-batsman was tasked to open the innings with Rohit Sharma - who was promoted to the top of the order for the first time in his career.

The duo provided a brilliant start and put up 317 runs for the first wicket. Both played their natural game and it never seemed like the game had slowed down. Rohit got out on 175 but Mayank ensured that he converts his start into a big one. He scored 215 off 371.

India vs South Africa live score, 1st Test, Day 3alking about their gameplan on day 1 of the ongoing Vizag Test, Mayank said that the idea was to negate the opening spell by Vernon Philander and Kagiso Rabada before they played their own game.

“In the first session (on day 1), the ball was moving a bit. Our gameplan was not to give them a wicket with the first new ball. They brought in spinners after 10-12 overs and then we planned to play positively,” he told Ajinkya Rahane in interview for, in the series against Australia, he had missed out on two opportunities to convert his starts into big scores. He was dismissed on 76 and 42 in the Boxing Day Test and followed up with 77 in Sydney.

Mayank was batting on 84 on day 1 when the rain arrived to wash out 30.5 overs. The 28-year-old said that he woke up a bit early on day 2 of the Test with the thoughts of making his first Test century making rounds in his mind.

“I was nervous when I reached 70. I have been dismissed in the 70s twice in Australia. This time I had thought that I will convert 70 into 100. I also had a chat with Ravi (Shastri) sir. He told me to convert the start into a big one and to make it count.

“I was on 84 when the rain came and I woke up a bit early (on day 2). The thoughts of scoring my first hundred were in my mind. I was very cautious, nervous. I would be lying if I say I wasn’t. And then after the 100, personal milestones got away. Then they took the second new ball and my target was not to lose wicket against it. Very very happy with the way innings panned out. Yes, it was hot out there but I cannot complain about that,” he said.

With his double-century, Mayank became fourth Indian batsman to convert his maiden Test century into a double-century. He also overtook Steve Smith’s record to score the highest Test score in 2019 – Smith had scored 211 in the fourth Ashes Test