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Mayank Yadav of Lucknow Super Giants preparing for the start of the IPL match. The pacer has been in scintillating form in the last two games. Image Credit: Sportzpics for IPL

Dubai: A strong built with strapping muscles and an aggressive demeanour are generally recognised as the traits of a fast bowler. But the young Indian fast-bowling sensation doesn’t possess any of these traits, yet he unleashes bullets on the cricket pitch clocking speeds in excess of 155 kmph. That is Mayank Yadav for you.

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The 21-year-old from humble beginnings has made giant strides with his pace and consistency to unsettle batters in the current Indian Premier League. The IPL has been unearthing gems over the years and these players have been serving the country since its inception and the Delhi pacer, whose father runs a business manufacturing sirens and lights for police vehicles, has been the find of Season 17 so far.

In two successive matches, Yadav has had three-wicket hauls and has dismissed some of the best in international cricket like Glenn Maxwell and Cameroon Green. The cricketing world is smitten with the delivery that Yadav bowled to dismiss the Australian all-rounder Green, who was beaten for pace and the ball clipped the top of off stump.

Hurling a 156.7 kmph bullet

“Green’s wicket was special for me because I bowled him, and every fast bowler likes that kind of dismissal,” Mayank told the official broadcasters after claiming his second successive player of the match award. “I was bowling with more aggression having taken a wicket in the previous over.”

His spell broke the back of the famed Royal Challengers Bangalore batting to give Lucknow Super Giants a 28-run win at Bengaluru. He had also dismissed England’s Jonny Bairstow in the previous game against Punjab Kings.

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Australian all-rounder Cameron Green of Royal Challengers Bengaluru is bowled by Mayank Yadav. Image Credit: Sportzpics for IPL

Yadav hurled a 156.7kmph delivery to become the fourth fastest bowler after Umran Malik, Lockie Ferguson and Shaun Tait, who holds the record at 157.7kmph.

Lucknow captain KL Rahul said he was so happy to see Mayank deliver on his potential in the last couple of games.

“He quietly waited for two seasons because of injury but he has been working very hard,” he said. “He understands bowling 155kph is not easy. It’s great seeing him bowl that fast from behind the stumps.”

So what makes him special?

Former Indian all-rounder Sridharan Sriram, Assistant Coach of Lucknow, explained why Yadav is a special talent.

“He is an amazing talent. His fast-twitch muscle fibres, arm speed and the ability to generate momentum in the run-up; everything is good about him. He almost runs at 24kmph in the run-up and doesn’t have big jump in the delivery stride and skids through the crease. He hits the length hard and surprises the batters with the amount of speed off the pitch more than in the air,” the former Australia Assistant Coach told Gulf News from Lucknow.

Sriram had been part of the Australian coaching set-up under Justin Langer, the current coach for the Lucknow Super Giants. “The zip he gets off the pitch surprises most of the batters,” he added.

Sridharan Sriram

Another rags to riches IPL story

Yadav has been another rags to riches success story from the IPL. Over the years, the richest franchise league throws a lifeline to some of these talented players who are millionaires now. The league throws these talents in the deep end and the successful ones are those who sail through the challenges.

Six years ago, after scouting a few academies, Mayank’s father Prabhu Yadav brought him to Sonnet Club, which has produced a long list of international cricketers from the stable, including Virender Sehwag, Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan and Gautam Gambhir, to name a few.

The young lad caught the attention of coach Tarak Sinha and his assistant Devendra Sharma. Sinha was so impressed that he told the club officials not to charge any fees from Yadav, reported Sportstar.

Mayank Yadav
Mayank has been bowling in excess of 155 kmph after returning from injury that sidelined him for the past two seasons. Image Credit: AFP

Yadav had built a strong reputation last season, but an injury had kept him from taking part in the league in Season 16. But the Super Giants reposed their faith in him and the fast bowler has been paying back the franchise this season. With a strong batting, Yadav has been the missing link in the puzzle that makes the Lucknow outfit one of the favourites for the title this season. The sirens are blaring now.

“Credit should go to Sanjiv Goenka (sir) and LSG management for reposing their trust in him for the past two years. That’s a big tick mark. When I saw him first, the amount of bounce he was able to extract on a black soil pitch is what impressed me the most. And he was bowling only at 70 per cent of his capacity at that time as he was returning from an injury. I immediately told the coach and the boss that he’s a special talent,” added the 48-year-old coach, who was also a technical consultant for the Bangladesh cricket team.

Handling of precious commodity

“His control over length is amazing. Speed, combined with accuracy, is the key factor.”

India have had a few pacers going past the 150kmph mark in the past. Varun Aaron in the past and Umran Malik was the talking point of the IPL a few years ago. But they both were not able to live up to the expectations when they turned up for the Men in Blue. Also, handling such precious commodity is also a key factor to keeping their longevity.

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Mayank Yadav celebrates with Lucknow Super Giants' teammates after claiming one of his six wickets. Image Credit: LSG-X

Aim is to play for India

“I feel very good, winning two player of the match awards, but I am happier that we won both the matches,” said Yadav, who is now second for the Purple Cap for bowlers with six wickets from just two matches. “My aim is to play for India as much as possible. So I feel this is just the start and my main goal is what I am focused on.”

With the Twenty20 World Cup a few months away, there are talks to pick the young pace sensation as the trump card in India’s bid to win their second title.

Yadav is just two matches old and does he have the temperament for such a big jump in international cricket?

“He has a very good head on his shoulders. He prepares meticulously, very calm, professional and a mature guy. He has gone through lots of ups and downs in his career. Temperamentally he has no issues at all,” Sriram concluded with an air of confidence.