Mayank Agarwal
Mayank Agarwal Image Credit: PTI

Bengaluru: India opener Mayank Agarwal has revealed how a conversation with former captain Rahul Dravid kept him going before his long-awaited Test debut against Australia at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in Boxing Day Test of the 2018/19 series.

Agarwal got off perfect start on the international arena as he slammed a fighting 76 against a top-class Aussie bowling attack. He has since gone on to become a regular in the longest format and has made the opening slot his own.

In just 17 innings, he has scored 974 runs at an average of 57.29. Mayank has also scored four fifties and three centuries and have provided the team with the much-needed consistency at the top of the order.

But things weren't always so rosy for Mayank as according to his own admission, thoughts regarding India berth kept coming into his head before his Australia sojourn.

He also revealed how India A coach Dravid played a pivotal role to keep his head straight and away from negative thoughts.

"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 in a video uploaded on ESPNcricinfo website.

"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. I didn't think that if I am going to play or not but I was just happy to be part of the Indian team."

The Karnataka batsman also played three ODIs for Team India in which could score just 36 runs on the New Zealand tour.