Mayank Agarwal made a dream debut in Tests at home when he slammed a double century against South Africa in the first match of the three-Test series in Visakhapatnam. The ace opener, who made his international debut in Australia last year and hit two important 70s, put up 317 runs with fellow opener Rohit Sharma (176) to take India to a dominant position. He also put up two 50-plus scores with captain Virat Kohli (20) and vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane (15) as India declared their first innings total at 502 for 7 om Day 2.
Agarwal’s 215 also became the highest individual score in Tests this year, surpassing 211 that Australia’s Steve Smith made in the fourth Test of the recent Ashes in England. Other players who have managed double hundreds this year are West Indies’ Jason Holder (202 not out) and New Zealand’s Kane Williamson (200 not out) and Ross Taylor (200).
The Karnataka batsman also became the fourth Indian batsman after Dilip Sardesai, Vinod Kambli and Karun Nair to have managed to convert his maiden international century into a double century.
Smith, however, leads the pack in terms of aggregation of runs
However, although Mayank beat the former Australia captain Smith in terms of the highest score, it will take some consistency for him to beat him in the list of aggregation of runs in 2019. Mayank is currently ranked 12th in the list of top run-getters of the year with a tally of 372 in four innings at an average of 62. Smith, on the other hand, hit 774 runs in the Ashes in which he played four games and averaged above 110.
The Mayank-Rohit display though took India to a commanding position but a pair of centuries from South Africa nullified much of that by the end of Day 3. The Proteas were reeling at 39 for 3 at the end of Day 2 but opener Dean Elgar (160) and wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock (111) brought them back into the game by adding 164 runs for the sixth wicket. SA ended Day 3 at 385 for 8, trailing by 117 runs. Ravichandran Ashwin took a five-wicket haul in his comeback Test.