Meet the tearaway quick called Mayank Yadav


Mayank Yadav for LSG (Photo: IPL)

Mayank Yadav, catapulting onto the IPL stage with a thunderous debut, has set the cricketing world abuzz with his blistering pace. The 21-year-old, playing his first match for Lucknow Super Giants, stunned viewers with deliveries clocking up to 155.8 kph. Nine of those were above 150 kph. He took the wickets of Jonny Bairstow, Jitesh Sharma and Prabhsimran Singh. As Mayank was handed the Player of the Match award, notable cricketing veterans like Dale Steyn and Brett Lee joined the chorus of praise on social media, acknowledging his ferocious pace.

Mayank hails from Delhi’s Punjabi Bagh and trains at the prestigious Sonnet Club. Although a revelation to many on his IPL debut, he had been a well-known bowler among the followers of Delhi’s cricket circuit over the past few years. Some even know the story of a teenager Mayank struggling to find shoe size number 12 back then!

“Uski ball dikhti nahi hai, 158-159 kph daal sakta hai baccha (batters struggle to see his deliveries, he can clock 158-159kph). He came to us at Sonnet Club six years back. We took a trial and straightaway spotted that he is very quick off the wicket with a smooth action. But he was very weak at that time though he bowled really quick. We worked on his fitness, made him play a few age-group tournaments for the club to polish his game and steadily, he moved up the ranks to play for Delhi,” Devender Sharma, once a deputy to the late Tarak Sinha, who now runs Sonnet Club in Delhi, told RevSportz.

“He has played a lot of matches in club cricket to get ready for the IPL. In 2022, he used to call me and say ‘I am about to get my IPL debut’ but due to some reasons it didn’t happen. I was sure he would get his debut in 2023 but had an injury and was replaced.”


Rishabh Pant, fellow Sonnet Club alumni, and Sourav Ganguly had expressed interest in recruiting him for Delhi Capitals, while Ashish Nehra, another Sonnet Club alumni, vouched for him at Gujarat Titans. However, Lucknow Super Giants were in no mood to release the exciting talent. Even India’s chief selector Ajit Agarkar had shown keen interest in Mayank, considering him for the India-England Tests earlier this year. Agarkar wanted to watch Mayank play once before picking him but call it fate, he was sidelined by a hamstring injury at the time.

“He was very sad, nearly broken. Who would want to give away the chance to impress the chief selector and play for India? I pray to god that he keeps rising and stays fit. He is a very good and strongly built kid. He has an athletic body. He is very hard-working and has the ability to serve India for long. He has a good head and that is what is most important,” Sharma said.

But how did the IPL journey start for Mayank?

A pure vegetarian and a Lord Krishna-devotee, he has been closely developed under the mentorship of the late Tarak Sinha and Devender. Despite tempting offers, including a job opportunity from Services, Mayank remained steadfast to represent Delhi. His debut performance in the Vijay Hazare Trophy in 2021 where he bowled a maiden in the 49th over to help Delhi defend 12 off the last 12 balls against Haryana, earned him accolades. Vijay Dahiya, the then assistant coach at Lucknow Super Giants, spotted and roped him in soon after that.

Despite setbacks, including being benched in the IPL 2022 season and missing out on subsequent season due to injury, Mayank’s talent shone brightly in tournaments like the Deodhar Trophy, where he was the joint second-highest wicket-taker. The youngster had shown glimpses of promise in red-ball cricket for Delhi in his Ranji Trophy debut in 2022 but had to walk off due to an injury. He missed the 2023-24 Ranji season due to a side strain injury, suffered while bowling extensively at LSG nets.

India have seen a few express pacers come and vanish quickly. Be it for injuries or consistency, genuine pacers haven’t had a long career for India so far. So, what makes Mayank different?

“He is mentally strong. He knows his strengths. He will focus on that…which is pace. He has been told right from the start that pace is his strength. He has a very sharp yorker. I am sure he was a bit nervous but as it slowly settles in, he will start launching them in. Watch out for his bouncers. Delhi mein bohoto ko sarr par mara hai (he has hit a few players on their helmets in Delhi circuit). To catch Jonny Bairstow and Jitesh Sharma late on the pull says a lot about his bouncers,” a proud Sharma said.

Mayank Yadav in action (Photo: IPL)

So what message does his coach have for Mayank now that there will be media attention, social media hype and possibly an India call-up in the near future?

“Fitness is very important. If you don’t work on that, then you won’t survive for long. I always tell him to keep working on fitness. If a genuine pacer is fit, then he will survive for long and will eventually play for India. If not, he will struggle. The more you bowl, you would know which areas of your body are weak. You have to work on it,” Sharma concluded.

Leave a Reply

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