Speed thrills and excites India’s latest fast-bowling sensation Mayank Yadav, a passion cultivated since childhood where the sleek lines of jet planes, awe-inspiring force of rockets, and the raw power of superbikes captured his imagination. The 21-year-old’s 150kmph thunderbolts amazed one and all during his side Lucknow Super Giants’ 21-run win over Punjab Kings on Saturday. Mayank (3/27) stole the limelight with his searing pace. In the 12th over of Punjab’s innings, he bowled the season’s fastest ball at 155.8 kmph. His extra pace rattled Jonny Bairstow, Prabhsimran Singh and Jitesh Sharma and led to PBKS’ downfall. He consistently clocked 150kmph and above on the speedometer during his four-over spell, to be adjudged the player of the match.

“Even in normal life, apart from cricket, I love things which have speed with them. Whether it is a rocket, aeroplane or superbike, speed excites me. In my childhood, I liked jet planes and would get inspiration from them,” said Mayank at the post-match press conference.

“I have never bowled 156kmph before this. I clicked 155kmph during Mushtaq Ali, but this is my fastest ball,” added the pacer from Punjabi Bagh in New Delhi.

Mayank had played just two List A games before he was picked by LSG ahead of IPL 2022. He did not play a single match in the first season and was ruled out of the next season with a torn hamstring.

After he recovered from the injury, he played for North Zone in the 50-over Deodhar Trophy where he knocked out Rahul Tripathi’s middle stump with a ripper.

“Injuries are part of fast bowlers’ life, they are your friends. I had two-three major injuries in the past one or one and a half years. Those were my setbacks.

“Last season also, I missed playing in IPL because of injury. I had side strain injury with rib fracture and that happened after Vizay Hazare. My effort is to give more attention to recovery and to myself, in training and physically.” It’s natural that Mayank would get inspiration from a speed merchant — South African great Dale Steyn.

“I look up to only one fast bowler, and that is Dale Steyn. He is my idol and I idolise him a lot.” Talking about his game plan on Saturday, he said, “JL (head coach Justin Langer) or even Morne Morkel (bowling coach) did not say anything particular on what I need to work on. They know that along with pace my hard length ball is good.

“They just told me to keep the plan simple, use pace and bowl hard length balls as many as possible as well those which can be finished on stumps.” He said he did not feel any pressure or nervousness during his debut match.

“A lot of excitement was there in my debut. For the last two years, I have been visualising just one thing that, that is when I make my debut what will I feel when I bowl my first ball. Everybody said there would be some pressure or nervousness but I did not feel it at all.

“When my captain told me to bowl the first over, I felt inside me that I belonged to this place and there was a lot of confidence.” Highlighting his goals, Mayank said, “My aim is to always remain consistent and give away less runs to help the team. Pace is a plus point for me which I try to use in a good way.” Asked how he came to the limelight, he said, “Two years back, before the mega auction of the IPL, I was with Delhi team for Vijay Hazare against UP side, out assistant coach Vijay Dahiya sir saw me there.

“There he showed interest in me, he asked me videos of my bowling before IPL auction. From there he picked me, I think.” PTI PDS PDS APA APA

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