IPL: Who is Mayank Yadav, Lucknow’s 155.8 kmph pace sensation?

The 21-year-old Delhi youngster evokes memories of Umran Malik from the 2022 edition of the IPL

Mayank Yadav
Mayank Yadav

Gautam Bhattacharyya

‘155.8 KPH Mayank Yadav where have you been hiding!’ The X-post of Dale Steyn, the speed merchant of South Africa, says it all about the impact rookie Mayank Yadav created in the cricket fraternity on Saturday.

The 21-year-old made a sensational debut in the IPL for Lucknow Super Giants when he clocked 155.8 kmph, the fastest delivery of the season in his second over against Punjab Kings, as he wrecked havoc to become the Player of the Match with figures of 4-0-27-3.

It was a magical evening at the Ekana Stadium in Lucknow for the Delhi lad, bought by LSG at a base price of Rs 20 lakh in 2022 auction, which brought back memories of Umran Malik bursting onto the scene two years back for Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Malik, the Jammu & Kashmir speedball, had clocked 154.8 kmph and there were cries for him to be fast-tracked into the Indian team, but he went on to lose the fizz somewhat next year.

There was enough cricketing intelligence in the way Mayank got rid of a dangerous looking Jonny Bairstow and Prabhsimran Singh in quick succession, with his bowling earning applause from the rival captain Shikhar Dhawan – a Delhi man himself.

‘’Mayank bowled really well. His speed overturned us. It was good to face him but he surprised me with his pace. I thought I could use his speed as an experienced player, but he steamed in and put his brains. He hit exact yorkers, I barely got singles,’’ said Dhawan.

Brought on by stand-in skipper Nicholas Pooran in the middle overs, Mayank started with a 147 kmph delivery and then built on from there on. His speeds in the first over read: 147 kmph, 146 kmph, 150 kmph, 141 kmph and 149 kmph as the skiddy nature really troubled Bairstow and the seasoned batter lost his wicket while trying to manufacture a shot against a short ball.

Before the start of the 2024 season, LSG head coach Justin Langer had backed the fast bowler to shine. There were some doubts about the depth of the team’s fast bowling attack when England’s Mark Wood pulled out at the eleventh hour, but the Australian said his team still had enough firepower to do well in the tournament.

‘’We also have Shamar Joseph, we have Mayank who bowls with very good pace. Hopefully we can replace, not [Wood’s] experience but his pace with Shamar Joseph and Mayank. He’ll be missed - of course he’l be missed, he’s a world-class bowler - but this is the world we live in and we will adapt and we will be OK,’’ Langer said and Mayank had vindicated the faith of the team management.

A product of India’s multi-tiered domestic structure, Mayank shone through in last year’s Under-23 Colonel C.K.Nayudu Trophy where he took 15 wickets in six matches.

In the last Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, he was effective in claiming five wickets in four matches – including a couple in the semi-final even as Delhi went down to Punjab in the semi-final.

It’s a job well begun for Mayank, but expectations will now rise from him whenever he is part of the playing XI – with their next game coming up against Royal Challengers Bengaluru on the notoriously flat Chinnaswamy deck on Tuesday. Let’s wait and watch!

Follow us on: Facebook, Twitter, Google News, Instagram 

Join our official telegram channel (@nationalherald) and stay updated with the latest headlines

/* */