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Tuesday, April 2, 2024

IPL - pace sensation called Mayank Yadav

India was a land of spinners, I grew up watching the famed quartet – Bishan Bedi, Bhagwat Chandrasekhar, Srinivasan VEnkatraghavan and Erapalli Prasanna.  In Marina grounds, when a guy called Rajamannar bowled fast, everyone talked about him.

Today at Chinnasamy, his delivery at 144.8 is perhaps much slower ! – are you reading it right – it is   Mayank Yadav, now 21, who on Saturday broke the back of the Punjab Kings chase with a four-over spell of extreme fast bowling that will be remembered for a long time by those who watched it. Hitting speeds north of 150kph repeatedly, Mayank had batters with international experience hopping, and his 155.8kph thunderbolt to Shikhar Dhawan has been recorded as the fastest ball of this IPL season.  .. .. as I post  - he has figures of  4-0-14-3 and that includes wickets of : Glenn Maxwell, Cameron Green, Rajat Patidar and Dinesh Karthik escaped a bowled with a review .. .. today he touched 155 kmph again !

In Indian pace bowling -  Kapil Dev was the crowning glory ~ there were talks that Yograj Singh and Thirumalai Ananthanpillai Sekhar were  faster ! ~ when Umesh Yadav took 10 wickets in a home test, thoughts meandered to the way, India handled new ball – in 1970s – when the spin quartet dominated, Eknath Solkar would bowl a couple of overs, even sunil Gavaskar bowled a couple – ball would be rolled from third man and fineleg and then Bishan Bedi would take over (the quartet could consistently wrap the opponents below 200 is another aspect !)

Those were the days  when we read about camps before Overseas tours, when Barun Burman, Jyoti Prasad .. .. came close to selection and a young lad Kapil Dev was denied extra rotis, stating that there are no pace bowlers in India.  Life has changed .. .. remember that in Chennai 1st division league there were young lads bowling fast – not only locals like Rajamannar, Bharathkumar, Arunkumar, Kalyanasundaram, TA Sekhar, Arun – but from MRF - Vivek Razdan, Subroto Banerjee and Ashish Winston Zaidi.

1980s was the tale of pace battery of West Indies – they kept coming – fearsome Holder, Roberts,  Holding, Daniel, Crofts, Garner, Marshall, Bishop, Ambrose, Patterson, Walsh .. ..  all could hurtle at great pace and make the ball climb awkwardly not only from a short length but at times coil it up from close to good length, making the life miserable for batsmen. Aussies had their own Thompson, Lillie, Pascoe, Mcdermoot, Bret Lee, Kiwis had some like Bond, Pak kept producing some genuine quickies like Akhthar, Mohd Aamir, Wasim Akram, Waqar and more.


MRF did provide a good platform and trained some Indian aspirants which include   Vivek Razdan, Javagal Srinath, Irfan Pathan, Munaf Patel, Venkatesh Prasad, R. P. Singh, Zaheer Khan and Shanthakumaran Sreesanth.   Sachin Tendulkar in his school days trained in the MRF Pace Foundation to become a fast bowler !     The MRF Pace foundation was set up in Chennai in 1987 – Dennis Lillee was the head coach, later the tall TA Sekhar, later Glen McGrath.  

An express bowler from Delhi, Mayank Yadav had played just two List A games when he was picked by Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) ahead of IPL 2022. He did not play a match in the first season and was ruled out of the next season with a torn hamstring.  Unfortunately for Mayank, during a practice match early in IPL 2023, he lost his footing because the landing area was a "bit wet", as Dahiya put it. He continued bowling but had to pull out on the fifth delivery and the pull he felt in his quadriceps turned out to be a Grade 2 tear. Dahiya, Gambhir and Andy Flower, LSG's head coach at the time, agreed Mayank should do his rehab with the squad.

Now after the Man of the match in LSG first match, today Mayank Yadav blasted out RCB with raw pace.   He bowled 150+ consistently and rushed one   of the best batters in the world for pace and bounce..  full credits to him as he paced out two Australians, one after the other.  After Maxwell, Mayank Yadav ripped   Green, another big-hitting Australian. After pushing him back with the short ball, he fired fuller ones.  Cricinfo reports that today Mayank  cranked it up to 156.7kph - the fastest ball this IPL - and hushed the Chinnaswamy.

As per a report in ESPN Cricinfo, in  2021, the Uttar Pradesh and Delhi teams were practicing next to each other at the IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali during the Vijay Hazare Trophy. Former India wicketkeeper Vijay Dahiya was the UP coach, and a fast bowler in the Delhi nets caught his eye, making him want to move to a position from where he could observe him. After watching the Delhi bowler deliver a couple of balls, Dahiya was convinced he had found an exciting and explosive talent for Lucknow Super Giants, with whom he was an assistant coach and talent scout.

Full marks to Vijay Dahiya – Mayank Yadav is indeed sensational and looks a sure material for the National team.  All the best to him.

With regards – S Sampathkumar


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