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Mayank Markande revels in stunning IPL debut for Mumbai Indians

Mayank Markande was hailed for his stunning bowling and ended up trending on social media despite Mumbai Indians’ slender defeat to Chennai Super Kings

cricket Updated: Apr 09, 2018 15:08 IST
Shalini Gupta
Mumbai Indians player Mayank Markande celebrates after Mahendra Singh Dhoni's wicket against Chennai Super Kings during their IPL cricket T20 match in Mumbai, India, Saturday.
Mumbai Indians player Mayank Markande celebrates after Mahendra Singh Dhoni's wicket against Chennai Super Kings during their IPL cricket T20 match in Mumbai, India, Saturday.(AP)

Mayank Markande is living a dream. Going by the way his Indian Premier League (IPL) debut went, and but for Dwayne Bravo’s late and unexpected assault, the young leg spinner from Patiala would have won the match against Chennai Super Kings with his bowling for Mumbai Indians.

The 20-year-old’s stats tell you the story: 4-0-23-3, including the prized wickets of MS Dhoni and Ambati Rayudu. Even though Mumbai Indians lost the game to Chennai Super Kings, Mayank was hailed for his stunning bowling and ended up trending on social media. The most happy was his coach Mahesh Inder Singh in Chandigarh. “He called up in the morning and was thrilled to have bowled like that and gotten Dhoni’s wicket. It was wonderful to see him get the backing of senior cricketers in the Mumbai Indians team especially captain Rohit Sharma.

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“He is raring for upcoming games and I am sure there are more such performances in the offing from him. Getting Dhoni’s on a googly was the highlight of his debut spell for him,” said Mahesh Inder Singh, a former Punjab Ranji Trophy cricketer and also the father of former Indian cricketer Reetinder Singh Sodhi. He has been training Mayank at his academy.

At the toss itself, Rohit had heaped praised on the young spinner. Mayank was bought by Mumbai Indians for Rs 20 lakh in the IPL auction.

He had impressed the Mumbai Indians scouts during one of the trials held in Mumbai in January. Interestingly, he was not keeping a tab on the auction and it was one of his friends who called him up to tell about his selection. “I was not actually hoping to be picked in the auction. I was surprised to know that I was bought by Mumbai Indians,” Mayank had told this after the selection. Mayank, who idolises Australian legend Shane Warne, snapped wickets of Ambati Rayudu (22), MS Dhoni (5) and Deepak Chahar, deceiving all three with googlies. He could have added Kedar Jadhav’s wicket also to his kitty had Mumbai Indians gone for review.

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His father is an inspector working with Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) in Patiala and the mother runs a clothing boutique.

Mayank started as a quickie when he was eight, 12 years ago under Mahesh Inder in Patiala. “He had a very flexible body and derived good turn. So he was shifted to the spinners’ training camp. When he was 16 or 17, he had brilliant variations. And if you see his performance against Chennai, he bowled a googly, a straighter one and an authentic leg-break delivery with different pace during his spell to get wickets. He is a thinking spinner which will help him go high in career. Rohit played a key role in setting up the dismissals according to Mayank,” said his coach.

Interestingly, while Punjab struggles in the leg-spin department, Mayank has not played for Punjab in the Ranji Trophy yet. After Rahul Sharma, there has been no impressive leg-spinner in the state. He made his debut for Punjab in T20 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and Vijay Hazare Trophy in the 2017-18 season. Born in Bhatinda, Mayank who is also called ‘Udey’ by his Punjab team mates was part of the India U-19 team in 2016.