Punjab Kings opener and stand-in captain Mayank Agarwal on Saturday scored an unbeaten 99 to lead his side to a competitve total of 166 for the loss of six wickets against the Delhi Capitals At Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium on Sunday.
The 30-year-old notched his second fifty of the season, which included eight boundaries and four maximums. Earlier today, he was named stand-in skipper for Punjab, after the franchise announced KL Rahul was diagnosed with acute appendicitis, for which he has been hospitalised and will undergo surgery.
Born in Bengaluru on February 16, 1991, Mayank grew up looking up to the fearless and dashing strokeplay of former Indian opener Virender Sehwag. An impressive U-19 World Cup campaign in 2010, where he scored 167 runs in six innings for a struggling Indian side, saw selectors pin high hopes on his future.
Although he has shown flashes of his true potential, Mayank has been unable to rack up the numbers in the domestic circuit enough for a call-up to the national side for much of his early years.
Nevertheless, he earned his spot in the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) side in 2011 and slog swept Muttiah Muralitharan for a six on his first ball on debut. His maiden fifty came the next season, when he smashed Mumbai Indians’ Lasith Malinga and Co for an unbeaten 30-ball 64.
However, consistency was his achilles’ heel, as he failed to register his next fifty for nearly three years. He played for Delhi Daredevils (2014-2016) and Rising Pune Supergiants (2017) before being bought by the Punjab in 2018.
After an underwhelming first year, he has gone from strength-to-strength in the next few years with Punjab, scoring 332 and 424 runs in 2019 and 2020 respectively. He has already scored 260 runs this season, at an average of 43.33, his best so far.
He earned his first India call-up in 2018, for the tour of Australia, where he made his Test debut. His ODI debut came against New Zealand in February 2020. He still awaits his maiden T20I call-up.