Mayank Agarwal breaks 61-year-old Indian record on Test debut

Mayank Agarwal

The Indian team management gave Mayank Agarwal the opportunity to open the innings in the third Test against Australia and the right-hander grabbed it with both hands as he scored his maiden fifty on debut on Wednesday.

The stage couldn’t have been bigger for Agarwal to shine as he brought up the milestone off 95 balls in front of a packed Boxing Day crowd at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

After a solid knock of 76 off 161 deliveries, Mayank Agarwal fell off Pat Cummins in the last delivery before tea. Cummins used the short ball to great affect once again as Agarwal’s gloves grazed the ball on his left and captain Tim Paine took an easy catch.

The repeated failures of Murali Vijay and KL Rahul meant India had to try out something new in the third match. The move to introduce Agarwal as the opener has paid off till now at least even though his partner couldn’t survive for too long.

The 27-year-old looked at ease against the fast bowlers and off-spinner Nathan Lyon alike throughout the first session and continued in the same vein after the lunch break.

Agarwal became the 27th Indian batsman to score a fifty on Test debut. He is also only the second Indian opener to make his debut on Australian soil. Amir Elahi, the 40th player to represent the country, had made his debut at the Sydney Cricket Ground way back in 1947-48.

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