Mayank Agarwal, the India batter, has been called up for the upcoming Edgbaston Test against England, scheduled to start on July 1. Agarwal will fly out to England on Monday and link up with the rest of the Indian squad this evening. As per the latest government rules, Agarwal will not be required to undergo any quarantine, and will thus be available to play immediately if required.
Agarwal, 31, had originally been left out of the squad for the Edgbaston Test named in May, but an injury to KL Rahul and doubts over Rohit Sharma’s availability due to Covid-19 opened up a door for him.
Agarwal last played a Test in March, during the home series against Sri Lanka, but could manage just 59 runs from two matches, at an average of 19.66.
He has since turned out for Punjab Kings in the IPL, and appeared for Karnataka in the Ranji Trophy quarter-final defeat against Uttar Pradesh.
Agarwal, the Kings captain, had an IPL season to forget, scoring just 196 runs at an average of 16.33 and a strike rate of 122.5, as the team finished sixth on the table. His poor form with the bat prompted former India head coach Ravi Shastri to suggest that Agarwal’s struggles in dealing with the pressures of captaincy may have ultimately cost him a place in the Test side.
“I love the kid. I know how he plays his cricket, how determined he is. But it’s putting a guy who is very good at what he does in a wrong place,” Shastri had said. “And it can have problems. Serious problems. Serious repercussions. It could have cost him his place in the Indian side. Test side, everything, because the selectors will judge on current form, they will judge on what they actually see.”
The upcoming one-off Test in Birmingham is the conclusion of the series from last year which was suspended after a Covid-19 outbreak in the India team.