When India invited England recently in the summers, England were left hammered left, right and centred, regardless of the format. And the key thing to note was that the Tests were followed by a T20 and later, by an ODI series. So horrible were the fortunes of an England powered by the likes of Eoin Morgan, Sam Curran, Ben Stokes, James Anderson, Jason Roy and the likes that out of twelve contests, which involved 4 Tests, 5 T20Is, and 3 ODIs, the visitors were only able to win 4 games, being defeated in eight contests, across formats.
The likes of Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin and Rishab Pant were the major draws. Yet, one big name was missing- Mayank Agarwal. As India have already set foot in the country they took the pleasure of hammering earlier in their backyard, the visitors led by Virat Kohli have already suffered a blow of sorts, and that’s even as the first ball of the first Test hasn’t even been bowled.
Technically sound opening batsman from Bangalore, India, Mayank Agarwal has been ruled out of the First Test, that’s due to go live on August 4, which, as one may note isn’t all that afar.
So the key question is- what really happened to Mayank Agarwal and how? How did it come to a situation where the right-handed opening batsman who immediately made his presence felt after being inducted in the tour to Australia, 2018, has been ruled out?
Apparently, as per informed sources, Mayank Agarwal was in the nets and facing the blunt speed of right-arm fast bowler Mohammad Siraj. And it was a Siraj bouncer that hit him on the helmet and one notes, the pace of the delivery might have been such that Mayank Agarwal just fell down, finding it hard to recover instantly.
Therefore, a concussion blow, received sadly from one of his own teammates led to his undoing, so much so that the dependable right-handed batsman has to now sit out from the keenly-awaited Test match contest, soon to begin at Trent Bridge.
Here are some more details from a news report published on the revered ESPNcricinfo:
The incident occurred early in Agarwal’s batting session. He was immediately surrounded by team-mates, including Siraj and the coaching staff. A little while later, Agarwal walked out alongside the physio Nitin Patel. He was seen holding the back of his head as he walked off.
Agarwal was set to play the Test after regular opener Shubman Gill went home with a shin injury. KL Rahul and uncapped Bengal batter Abhimanyu Easwaran are the two primary options available for the team management to replace Agarwal.Rahul batted in the nets on Monday alongside Hanuma Vihari in the set following Ajinkya Rahane and Rishabh Pant. Easwaran, too, had a session, albeit in the side nets where he faced the throwdown specialist.
The above being told, the presence of a close unit of reliable and experienced batsmen including none other than Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, KL Rahul, and Rohit Sharma, the latter not tremendously experienced (having 75 Tests between them) would be the key to deflate an English attack that’ll see Anderson and Broad as the potent fast-bowling options.
What must help India a great deal, on this tour, would be the unfortunate absence of Ben Stokes, who a few days earlier, announced his retreat from the game for an indefinite period of time.
That said, let us hope that Mayank Agarwal- 1000 plus Test runs already from 23 innings- returns safely back to the Indian squad.