Mayank Yadav's Success Story: 'Watching Pacers Break Helmets Inspired Me To Become A Fast Bowler'

Just like a lot of modern day up-and-coming pacers, Mayank's role model is the Indian superstar Jasprit Bumrah.

Mayank Yadav's Success Story: 'Watching Pacers Break Helmets Inspired Me To Become A Fast Bowler' Mayank Yadav. (Image: Instagram)

Following his match-winning spell of 3/27 against Punjab Kings (PBKS) on his Indian Premier League (IPL) debut, Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) pacer Mayank Yadav opened up on how his love for fast bowling was born and his role model. Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) pacer Mayank Yadav made his Indian Premier League (IPL) debut with a bang, troubling batters with his fiery pace, hitting the 150 kmph-plus mark consistently and bowling a game-changing spell to guide his team to a 21-run win over Punjab Kings (PBKS) at Ekana Stadium on Sunday.

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His debut has earned him acclaim from some of the best bowlers to ever play the game, including pace greats like Brett Lee of Australia and South Africa's Dale Steyn. Before Saturday's IPL game, Mayank had played two first-class matches, 17 List-A games and 11 T20 matches. He represents Delhi at the domestic level, having made his List-A debut in 2021 and his first-class debut in 2022. He was bought by LSG back in 2023 for Rs 20 lakhs.

Speaking in a video by the IPL, Mayank said, "Last season, I was injured. I hoped that I would make my debut this time. Today, I got a chance and I tried to contribute to the team." The bowler said that pace comes naturally to him and he focuses on more on consistency. He also opened up about how watching legendary pacers like Brett Lee, Dale Steyn, and Mitchell Johnson on TV with his father started his love affair with fast bowling. Lee and Steyn also took to X to appreciate the youngster for such a memorable debut.

"Pace is natural thing for me. I never put stress on bowling fast, but rather on staying consistent and helping my team," said Mayank.

"Since childhood, I have watched these people (Lee, Steyn, etc.) on TV and now to get appreciated by them is a big deal for me. My father liked fast bowlers. When I was a kid, he used to show me videos of Mitchell Johnson, Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel. The sight of batters getting hit on helmets and their bodies used to excite me and I was inspired to become a pacer," he added.

Mayank said that when he entered the ground, he felt that he belonged to this stage. "People talk about nervousness and pressure, but I did not feel it. When Nicky (Nicholas Pooran) gave me the ball, I thought that it was my moment and I would have to give my best," he added.

Just like a lot of modern day up-and-coming pacers, Mayank's role model is the Indian superstar Jasprit Bumrah.

"I take a lot of inspiration from Jasprit Bumrah. He is one of the best in India and the world, would try to learn as much as possible from him," he concluded. LSG elected to bat first after winning the toss. Quinton de Kock (54 in 38 balls, with five fours and two sixes), skipper Nicholas Pooran (42 in 21 balls, with three fours and three sixes) and Krunal Pandya (43* in 22 balls, with four boundaries and two sixes) helped LSG reach 199/8 in 20 overs. There was a 47-run partnership between Kock and Pooran for the fourth wicket that helped LSG settle following some quick wickets.

Sam Curran (3/28) and Arshdeep Singh (3/30) were the pick of the bowlers for PBKS. Rahul Chahar and Kagiso Rabada took a wicket each. In the run chase, skipper Shikhar Dhawan (70 in 50 balls, with seven fours and three sixes) and Jonny Bairstow (42 in 29 balls, with three fours and three sixes) kicked things off with a 102-run opening partnership. But Mayank's fiery spell derailed PBKS's efforts, reducing them to 141/4 in 16.2 overs. Liam Livingstone (28* in 17 balls, with two fours and two sixes) tried to fight out but PBKS was restricted to 178/5 in their 20 overs.

Mohsin Khan also picked up two wickets for 34 runs.

LSG is in fifth place in the points table with two points, having won one match and lost one. PBKS is in sixth place, with a win and two losses, giving them two points.