Opener Mayank Agarwal said Rahul Dravid’s motivating words helped him keep negative thoughts at bay before his long-awaited debut for India.

Agarwal’s big moment came when he made his Test debut against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground during the 2018-’19 series.

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“I was getting runs you know. I got massive runs that Ranji Trophy season and for India A. I did have a word with Rahul bhai. I told him I was getting thoughts of sometimes not getting picked,” Agarwal told Sanjay Manjrekar on ESPNcricinfo.

Agarwal got his international career off to a fine start with a fighting 76 against a high-quality Australian bowling attack.

In 17 innings so far, he has scored 974 runs at an average of 57.29 with three centuries at the top of the order.

But he had to endure a long wait to get there having performed consistently in the domestic circuit for Karnataka. That’s when former India captain Dravid, doing duty as the A team coach, helped Agarwal with his wisdom.

The batsman also narrated an interesting anecdote behind his first Ranji triple century during the 2017-’18 season. Agarwal, who was the third Karnataka player to score 300 in Ranji after KL Rahul and Karun Nair, said the fear of getting dropped again motivated him to score big during his knock.

He said: “I very clearly remember him telling me ‘Mayank these are the things that are in your hands. You have worked hard, you have gotten here. You are as close as you can get. Selection is not in your hands’. And I totally agreed with him. Theoretically you understand that but practically it’s not easy.”

“But he put forth few things - ‘What is to say that the coming October and November is not going to be different from September. If you think otherwise you will get into a negative mind frame it’s you who is going to lose out and nobody else’. So I remembered that talk and that kept me going,” Mayank added.

“When I got the call I was elated and I called him up and thanked him.”

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