Mayank Agarwal, who ascended to 11th in the Test rankings after a brilliant and Player of the Match effort of 150 and 62 in the Mumbai Test against New Zealand, has praised coach Rahul Dravid for assisting him in coming out of a century-long slump. After missing both the home and away series against England, Agarwal returned to the Test setup after nearly a year apart. He was the last part of the team during the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2020-21. He failed to make an impression on his comeback in Kanpur, being bowled cheaply in both innings, but he made a remarkable comeback in the series’ last match.

India trounced New Zealand by 372 runs, breaking their previous record of 337 runs against South Africa. Meanwhile, he revealed that Dravid told him to keep his emotions in check and focus on the present.

“I know you don’t have a lot of runs, but manage your emotions,” he [Rahul Dravid] urged. Control your ideas and mental energies. Mayank was quoted by Hindustan Times as saying, “Don’t focus too much on it; he helped with the mental part.”

“On the technical side, he insisted on using the same strategy that had gotten you so many runs in the past. Just keep doing what you’re doing, and the runs will follow. Return to the things that have worked for you, and luckily, the runs arrived in the next innings,” he recounted how the coach helped him with the technical aspects.

Agarwal’s performance earned him a spot in India’s 18-man team for the upcoming South Africa series, which will include three Tests and as many ODIs. With KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma back in the fold after missing the New Zealand Tests due to injury and rest, it’s unclear whether Agarwal will have a chance to play in the series.