Indian opening batter Mayank Agarwal has been called up for the upcoming rearranged fifth Test against England, scheduled to begin on July 1 at Edgbaston in Birmingham. Agarwal will directly join the rest of the Indian squad as he will not be required to quarantine upon arrival, which will make him available to play immediately required in accordance with the latest travel advisory.
Notably, Agarwal had originally been left out of the squad, but an injury to KL Rahul and doubts over Rohit Sharma’s availability due to Covid-19 have now opened up an opportunity for the Karnataka batter to fill the spot.
The Test in Birmingham is the conclusion of the series from last year, which was suspended after a Covid-19 outbreak in the India team. The tourists, under the leadership of then captain Virat Kohli, had taken a 2-1 lead. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had then decided to rearrange the remaining Test match this year.
Coming back to Agarwal, the right-handed batter last played a Test in March earlier this year, during the home series against Sri Lanka. However, he could only manage to score 59 runs from two matches, at a dreadful average of 19.66. His most recent red-ball outing came in June for Karnataka during the Ranji Trophy quarter-finals against Uttar Pradesh.
Not to mention, Agarwal has been struggling to score runs, irrespective of the format. In his maiden season as a captain for Punjab Kings (PBKS) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022, Agarwal only scored 196 runs at an average of 16.33 and strike rate of 122.5.
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