Mayank Yadav Exclusive: Dreamt of being with Indian squad for T20 World Cup before IPL 2024 started

Mayank Yadav for LSG (Photo: IPL)

Mayank Yadav’s electrifying entry into the IPL 2024 has not only sparked discussions among cricket aficionados but has also prompted deliberations about his potential inclusion in India’s squad for the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup in June.

“It has been a really good start so far. I used to think how the cricketing world will react after watching me bowl. So far, the reactions have been amazing. So far so good,” the Lucknow Super Giants pacer Mayank Yadav, the fastest bowler of IPL 2024 so far, told RevSportz in an exclusive interview.

In his maiden IPL appearance against Punjab Kings, Mayank Yadav caught the imagination of the cricketing world, snarling three wickets for 27 runs. Clocking an impressive speed of 155.8kph, Mayank’s bowling prowess left the opposition in awe. Facing Punjab Kings, Mayank turned the game around by dismissing Jonny Bairstow, Prabhsimran Singh, and Jitesh Sharma, halting Punjab’s momentum and earning the Player of the Match accolade on his IPL debut.

From where did this passion for bowling fast start?

“The passion for pace bowling started from childhood. My father (Prabhu Yadav) used to show me Test matches whenever pacers used to bowl and tell me stories around them. The love for bowling fast started from there. I used to love cricket since I could remember,” Mayank recalled.

Mayank’s meteoric rise continued in his second IPL game against Royal Challengers Bengaluru at the Chinnaswamy Stadium. Coming up with a staggering speed of 156.7kph, the fastest ball of IPL 2024 so far, he delivered a scintillating performance, claiming three crucial wickets for just 14 runs and securing his second consecutive Player-of-the-Match award. 

 Mayan had to wait for this success. The lanky pacer has been part of the LSG team since 2022 but made his debut in 2024. While he warmed the bench in the 2022 season as a 19-year-old, he was injured for the entire duration of IPL 2023. The support from the Lucknow franchise makes Mayank grateful.

“The support from LSG has been really important. I have gone through not one but three major injuries in the last couple of years. The franchise and the owners, whom I was in regular touch with, supported me throughout my injuries. LSG took proper care of me. They made sure I had everything available in Mumbai’s Kokilaben Ambani Hospital during my stay there when I was injured and was undergoing rehab there,” Mayank added.


The 21-year-old also found a pillar of strength in LSG captain and senior pro KL Rahul. “From the very first year, when he saw me bowl fast as a 19-year-old, he has been very supportive. Even if I wanted to talk to him for five minutes with some questions, that conversation used to last till 15-20 minutes. He has always been there for my questions. I share a great bond with him,” he further said.

Beyond his sheer pace, Mayank’s accuracy has been a standout feature. During his spell against Royal Challengers Bengaluru, he bowled an impressive 17 dot balls without conceding a single wide or no-ball, highlighting his control and precision.

“I don’t feel nervous at all now. If I think that any big-name batter is playing in front of me, I don’t think I will be able to bowl well or execute my plans properly,” the speedster from Delhi said.

Mayank Yadav for LSG
Mayank Yadav for LSG (Image: IPL)

Mayank Yadav’s journey began under the mentorship of Devender Sharma, coach at the Sonnet Club in New Delhi, who introduced him to the club nearly six years ago. Recognising Mayank’s exceptional talent, the late Tarak Sinha, renowned for nurturing cricketing talent, was captivated by the young fast bowler’s potential. 

Despite Tarak Sinha’s demise two years ago, Mayank found unwavering support from Devender Sharma, ensuring that his aspirations remained on track.

“Tarek Sir is unfortunately not with us anymore. He would have been extremely happy to see me do well if he was with us. He has supported me a lot. He used to praise me like anything whenever some former player, selectors, or even journalists used to visit our club. He had the vision and belief that after Ashish Nehra, from Sonnet Club, I will be the next fast bowler to represent the country. And Devender Sir was the one who picked me for Sonnet Club for the first time. Very grateful to both of them,” Mayank said.

Known for his high-arm action and precision targeting of the off-stump, Mayank distinguishes himself from other fast bowlers by his ability to maintain accuracy at blistering speeds. While many bowlers sacrifice accuracy for pace, Mayank’s control and line make him a formidable asset on the field. Looking ahead, Mayank’s prospects are bright, with national selectors like Ajit Agarkar acknowledging his potential. Agarkar had enquired about Mayank’s whereabouts when the national selectors were shortlisting players for England and England Lions’ tour of India in early 2024.

“I didn’t get a direct call from him but through someone else. He asked why I wasn’t playing red-ball matches. I had suffered the hamstring injury just before the Ranji Trophy season started. Yes, I had this thing in the back of my mind that selectors are wanting to see me in action but at that time the best I could do is just focus on my rehab and bowling,” Mayank said. 

There are high chances that Mayank might join India squad for the ICC T20 World Cup and could even be considered for the upcoming Test series in Australia, where his bowling style could thrive on the conducive pitches. Is the dream now a touching distance away?

“Before the IPL 2024 started, I had thought of being with the Indian squad in some capacity. It would be great if I get the chance to be in that team as a player. But I don’t want to think too far ahead and just focus on the upcoming matches for IPL,” Mayank said unfazed about his future.

And what about the Test series against Australia later in the year? 

“The entire Focus is on my training. Let’s see what happens in the future, there is still some time for that. But for now, my complete focus is to train well and to prepare myself and my body for it,” Mayank quipped.

Standing at an imposing height of 6’1″ and armed with a varied arsenal including deceptive slower deliveries and lethal bouncers, Mayank Yadav has become a coveted talent in Indian cricket. His ability to adapt to different conditions and deliver match-winning performances makes him a promising prospect for the national team, particularly in high-pressure tournaments like the T20 World Cup. However, is Mayank ready to face criticism as well if things don’t go his way on the field in the near future?

“It is part of life. Ups and downs will be there. If people are praising me for doing well, then they will criticise when I perform badly. No issues with that,” Mayank concluded.

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