Mayank Yadav recharges India’s pace ambitions | Cricket

This isn’t a dream. This is reality smacking you in the face with 150 kph rippers. The measured, bounding run-up gives away nothing till Mayank Yadav has the batter in a tangle with his pace but more notably, his line. Nothing strays towards the leg, like Umran Malik’s used to. And this comparison is necessary for separating him from the herd of tearaway fast bowlers: pace, yes, but well-directed. To that effect, how can India not be excited by Yadav?

Lucknow Super Giants's Mayank Yadav appeals unsuccessfully during the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 T20 cricket match between Royal Challengers Bengaluru and Lucknow Super Giants(PTI)
Lucknow Super Giants’s Mayank Yadav appeals unsuccessfully during the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 T20 cricket match between Royal Challengers Bengaluru and Lucknow Super Giants(PTI)

Starting off in the 140s alone is remarkable, but to sustain it while occasionally hitting the 150s tells you Yadav is a shooter off the deck who can give a freakish head start in any format. Tests may be too far-fetched a dream right now, but definitely not the T20 World Cup. And Yadav too can’t be blamed for dreaming on similar lines. “My aim is to do well for the country for as many years as I can. This is just the start, and my focus is on the main goal,” he said, after bagging his second successive Player-of-the-Match award.

Hindustan Times – your fastest source for breaking news! Read now.

The pitch, the opponents, the conditions all differ from one game to the next. But the blinding pace Yadav so effortlessly produces can take all that out of the equation. Which at 21, seems natural but only Yadav and the Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) support staff knows how an entire season was spent working on the sidelines. There is no denying the maturity though. “He’s quietly, patiently waited for two seasons in the dug-out, missed out last year because of injury, unfortunately,” said LSG captain KL Rahul after Tuesday’s 28-run win. “He understands that bowling 155 kph is not easy and at a young age, he’s had a few injuries. He’s really professional in looking after his body, it’s really good to see and has a great temperament.”

Any time soon cautionary tales could be chorused in about what happens to most next big things once the hype dies. But this is also one hell of a first impression. Three wickets per match is a good habit to rear, but doing it for 14 runs in Bengaluru, nearly half of what he conceded in Lucknow, is downright special. Twelve balls of his quota of 24 were dots, excluding the three dismissals. And the best part of it was that Yadav didn’t have to beat the batter’s edge every time; pushing him to the backfoot and drawing a defensive nudge or a tentative prod was good enough to send the required rate rocketing. Pulling that off in Lucknow, where the boundaries are bigger, is one thing. But repeating it at a smaller venue like the Chinnaswamy, where even mishits fly to the second tier, means it can’t be a fluke.

It highlights the distinction between run-of-the-mill fast bowling and pace that can hurt. And also how once in a while, one must put forth the simplest measure to cope with T20 batting. In a landscape increasingly dominated by conversations on change of pace and slower bouncers, how about hurrying batters into false shots? Like the 151kph delivery that got Glenn Maxwell rushing into a pull shot and ultimately a simple catch at mid-on. More incorrect was Rajat Patidar’s shot selection, trying to pull a snorter wide of the off-stump that would have been easier to direct towards the third. Both ultimately were beaten by pace, but in two distinct ways.

Apart from being mistimed, those dismissals also underlined how Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) erred in not trying to read Yadav better. “It takes batters a few times just to get used to someone’s action, just to see how the ball is coming out of the hand,” said RCB captain Faf du Plessis after the defeat. “So (it’s) really impressive to see his pace. But more impressive for me tonight was his ability to control length and bowl with some really good discipline. That’s more impressing–pace combined with accuracy.”

Cameron Green has first-hand experience of that. Gold chain bobbing around his neck, Yadav had steamed in to beat Green twice—clocking 156.8kph and 155.6kph respectively. Next ball—hurled at 151.3 kph—was tried to heave over midwicket but Green didn’t quite middle it for an unconvincing boundary. In response, Yadav just pitched it short of good length, enough to induce Green into playing the wrong line, the ball hitting the top of his off-stump and taking off over wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock’s head towards the boundary. 146.2 kph. Slower than Yadav was before but surely quicker in real time, a difference that only Green can now tell.



Read More

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *