Having been drafted into India's playing XI on the back of some poor batting displays by KL Rahul and Murali Vijay, Mayank Agarwal repaid the selectors' faith in him by scoring a brilliant 76 on the Day One of the third Test between Australia and India in Melbourne.
It was a special feat for the 27-year-old, given he was making his Test debut, and moreover, it was his first ever international game. And he made sure that he will remember this day by creating a small piece of history.
Agarwal's 76 meant that it was the highest score by an Indian debutante in Australia. He broke a 71-year old record, going past Dattu Phadkar, who scored 51 in Sydney in 1947.
His calm and composed knock helped India end Day One of the third Test at 215 for 2. Along with his 76, Cheteshwar Pujara scored an unbeaten half-century and Virat Kohli remained unbeaten on 47 to help the visitors take one step towards a 2-1 series lead.
While many appreciated Agarwal for showing fight and intent on a tough and challenging pitch, a couple of Australian commentators, instead of praising him, mocked and ridiculed the batsman.
Former Australian opener Mark Waugh and Kerry O'Keefe, during their commentary stint in the ongoing Test, made some very unpleasant comments. Waugh reportedly ridiculed the Indian opener by stating that his First Class average in excess of 50 is equal to 40 in Australia's domestic cricket. O'Keefe's statements were worse, as he reportedly stated that the 304 scored by Agarwal was apparently against a Railways canteen staff.
Sensing backlash from Twitterati over the comments, O'Keefe apologised for his comments, mentioning that he was trying to have a bit of fun, and in no way was mocking the player.
“I was mentioning the runs Agarwal got in first class cricket in India and there’s been a reaction. There was no way I was demeaning the standard, it was tongue in cheek. There are lots of runs scored so apologies if anyone out there took offence," he said.
Waugh did not apologise for his comments, but tried to play down the incident by praising Agarwal for his knock. His Twitter message read, "All I said was averaging 50 in first class cricket in India is equivalent to averaging 40 in Aust mainly because of the number of players who achieve that. For the record Agarwal played very well in his 1st test innings," his social media post read.