I need to convert starts: Agarwal

RCB batsman is not content with scoring quick 30s and 40s.

Bengaluru 16 April 2012
Very rarely does one see Chris Gayle being outscored in a partnership. It has now happened twice in the last two games that the Royal Challengers Bangalore have played. And the batsman who has done the unthinkable is a little-known, diminutive and soft-spoken lad from Bangalore, Mayank Agarwal.

The 21-year-old is in tremendous form in IPL 2012. He’s been striking the ball brilliantly and fearlessly against some of the better international bowlers. But the young man has set high standards for himself and wants to do more than just getting his team off to flying starts.

After RCB’s shattering loss to the Rajasthan Royals at home, the young opener spoke to about his disappointment of not converting starts into match-winning scores and the experience of opening the batting with Chris Gayle.

You have been performing well this season. How’s it like to outscore Chris Gayle in a partnership?

I am striking the ball well, but can’t say I have been playing well because 30’s and 40’s are not taking me or my team anywhere. In games like this, the guy who gets in should be getting a big score. I’ve faulted there quite a few times, and it does not help the team.

RCB have lost three out of four games now. This is a surprise given the pedigree of the team. What’s the reason behind this?

I just think that we need to start playing better cricket. We’ve got to bat a little better and I am sure that with the side we have, we are going to come back and make an impact. Last year too we came back from a similar situation. Now all we’ve got to do is focus on the remaining games and come back hard as a team.

How is it to open the batting with Chris Gayle?

Batting with him is extremely great. It makes things a lot simpler for you. You know that even if you don’t get runs, he is there to strike it big and we can cover up the run-rate anytime. He is a fantastic player and he can make things simple for you. Hopefully, we can make it count in the next game.

What have you learnt from the various international batting stars in RCB?

Backing my ability is what I have learnt from them; just go there, express myself and enjoy my game. I have been talking to them and they are helping me with how to build and pace my innings. It’s a learning curve for me, and I need to start playing myself in.

Were you confident of chasing down the target when you came to bat?

We knew it was a good target and we could chase it down. The least we can do is believe in ourselves and that’s all that is in our hands. It hasn’t happened for us in the four games so far, but we will make it happen.
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