IPL 2021: Competition pumps me up, says Mayank Agarwal; opines on roles of Kumble and Rahul in PBKS setup

Punjab Kings (PBKS) opener Mayank Agarwal had one of the best outings in IPL 2020 in UAE, scoring 424 runs in 11 matches at an average of 38.54 and strike rate of 156.45, which included a century.

He will be opening for PBKS in the IPL 2021 as well and said that he was looking forward to playing the IPL which will be played in India.

“It is wonderful that the IPL is back in India. Although we will miss the crowd, playing in India will be thrilling. I have been working hard on my fitness and skills in Bengaluru. The T20 format demands top fitness and sharp skills.

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Once we hit the nets, we will be in the groove. In the last IPL, I did well. I hope to make the most of the chance this season too. Every year IPL provides a big stage for cricketers to showcase talent; my eyes are also fixed at doing well for Punjab Kings,” Agarwal said in an interview with Hindustan Times.

Agarwal also mentioned that his current focus is on winning the IPL for PBKS and doing well for the franchise. He is not thinking of it as a stepping stone towards selection in the Indian team for the upcoming T20 World Cup in India.

30-year-old Agarwal has been in and out of the Indian team across formats due to competition for the opener’s slot and added that the competition for the same only spurred him on to produce his best.

“It is fantastic to see the team doing so well in all formats. Actually, I like the competition. It pumps me up, I’m more focused, raring to take up the challenges and better my performances. In the last two three years, Indian cricket has gone upwards and I think it is in the most exciting phase at the moment. The competition makes me more determined to deliver,” he added.

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Mayank also said that he was grateful to PBKS head coach Anil Kumble for sharing his wealth of experience with the entire team.

He said, “It is not just me who looks up to Anil bhai for several reasons. He has a sharp cricket brain and knows exactly what he wants from me. I will be spending time with him in the nets ahead of matches.

It becomes a bit easy when you have a coach like him, who knows your game well and also your potential. His inputs helped me do well last season. I hope this time too I am able to absorb whatever he has to say about my game.”

He was also all praises for his opening partner in the PBKS team and the captain KL Rahul.

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“Rahul is an incredible cricketer. His game makes scoring look very easy. It would be amazing to go out there and play together in Bengaluru. I have always enjoyed with him as my partner at the other end. This is the fourth year we will be playing for Punjab. Our friendship helps us gel on the field as we understand each other’s game well. I am hoping for another electric season for both of us,” Mayank added.  

The opener also said that the team had started off with a bang in IPL 2020 and missed the playoffs by just one win. He felt that team needed to be more consistent, given that they have been amazing in clusters and needed to translate that success constantly.

(Hindustan Times inputs)

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