‘I told Gautam about him’: Ex-LSG assistant coach reveals how he spotted IPL’s latest sensation Mayank Yadav

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New Delhi: Indian Premier League (IPL)’s latest pace sensation Mayank Yadav enjoyed a stellar debut for the Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) in their clash against Punjab Kings (PBKS) last week. Mayank impressed with his raw pace as he consistently clocked between 145-155kph and also recorded the fastest delivery of the season so far. It was former LSG assistant coach Vijay Dahiya, who first spotted Mayank and was impressed with his skills. He was the one who recommended the franchise to go for the pacer at the auction.

The 21-year-old from Delhi bowled a stunning 155.8 kph delivery to PBKS skipper Shikhar Dhawan to record the fastest delivery bowled in IPL 2024. He showed no signs of nerves on debut to produce a match-winning spell of 3/27 off his 4 overs and bag the Man of the Match award for his heroics. Mayank has quickly become the cynosure of all eyes, thanks to his blistering pace and is deemed the next bright star in India’s pace bowling arsenal.

While he displayed his fiery pace, Mayank also left many impressed with his line and length. Former India wicket-keeper Dahiya, who was LSG’s assistant coach till IPL 2023, recalled how he saw Mayank bowling during a practice session between Delhi and Haryana before telling Gautam Gambhir about him. Both Gambhir and Dahiya were part of LSG’s backroom staff till last season but left the franchise last year.

Dahiya revealed LSG were convinced to keep Mayank in their scheme of things when they were finalising their strategy ahead of the IPL 2022 player auction. They picked up the Delhi fast bowler at his base price of Rs 20 lakh. However, he didn’t get a chance to make his debut due to an injury.

“I told Gautam about Mayank and said, We should keep an eye on him. When we sat at the auction table after finalizing the strategy for the 2022 mega auction, we were convinced to keep him in our scheme of things and that’s how he got picked for LSG,” Dahiya told Bhaskar Live.

The pace stands out for Mayank Yadav: Dahiya

The former LSG assistant coach, who has also coached Delhi and Uttar Pradesh among others in the domestic circuit, revealed it didn’t take him too many deliveries from Mayank to understand that the youngster has the quality in him to play in the IPL. Dahiya said Mayank’s pace stood out for him and that made him stand apart from all other fast bowlers, who were part of that practice session.

“His pace stands out for him and what happens at times is, when you want to get convinced, a couple of balls or shots are good enough. That was the case with somebody like him, and there is no substitute as far as the raw pace is concerned, although he was not bowling at this pace, he was looking completely different than anyone else from there,” Dahiya revealed.

A new fast bowling star is born. Mayank Yadav hitting 𝟭𝟱𝟱.𝟴 𝗸𝗺𝘀/𝗵𝗿 🥵pic.twitter.com/W7IsNmE7u9

— Abhishek Ojha (@vicharabhio) March 30, 2024

Dahiya revealed LSG would have unleashed Mayank in IPL 2023 last season had it not been for an injury. He tore his hamstring which didn’t allow him to play last season. The former LSG assistant coach credited skipper KL Rahul for backing the young pacer and said the captain had belief in the 21-year-old.

“Identifying somebody is one part, but looking after him and giving a platform is the most important part. Credit needs to be given to KL as well, where he believed and gave him the opportunity, although the toss was done by Nicholas Pooran,” said Dahiya.

“But I still believe it’s KL’s input because JL (head coach Justin Langer) has joined in this year and the people who were in the set-up from day one are not there. It’s about the belief KL had in him of starting the first home game with the youngster,” he added.

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