Who is Mayank Yadav - the fastest bowler of IPL 2024?

Lucknow Super Giants pacer bowled one of quickest spells in tournament's history against Punjab Kings

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The Indian Premier League witnessed the rise of a new pace sensation as the unheralded Mayank Yadav bowled one of the fastest spells in the history of the tournament while helping Lucknow Super Giants defeat a stunned Punjab Kings.

Very few had expected Yadav to emerge as the fastest bowler of the competition, and just the second Indian to breach the 155kph mark. After being on the sidelines for the past two seasons, Yadav finally got his chance this time and set the stage alight on debut.

Coming in as the last bowling change as Punjab approached the 100-run mark at the halfway stage without loss, chasing 200, Yadav rattled the well-set Shikhar Dhawan and Jonny Bairstow with hard lengths and extreme pace, beating the batsmen regularly with 150kph deliveries.

Yadav well and truly announced his arrival at the big stage as he beat Dhawan with a delivery clocked at 155.8kph (97mph). A couple of deliveries later, he hurried Bairstow with a quick short ball and the Englishman was caught on the on side.

Dhawan and next set of batsmen – Prabhsimran Singh and Jitesh Sharma – could barely put bat to ball as Yadav did not bowl a single ball below the 140kph mark. His top speed was also the sixth fastest ever recorded in IPL.

He took three wickets in all – Bairstow, Prabhsimran and Jitesh – and all were caught off the short ball. The spectacular spell of 3-27 did its job as Lucknow closed out a fine 21-run win. The previously unknown Yadav thus became an overnight star.

Who is Mayank Yadav?

The 21-year-old hails from Delhi and developed his cricket at the Sonnet club that has produced a number of international players such as Shikhar Dhawan and Rishabh Pant.

The wiry quick impressed with his pace straight away. He made his List A debut in 2021 and soon appeared on the radar of a few influential names. He gave selection trials for a few franchises, with Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Capitals expected to sign him. But in the 2022 player auction, it was Lucknow Super Giants who purchased him at base price.

The delay

As is the case with young fast bowlers, injuries meant he spent more time away from the field than on it. A foot injury and a hamstring injury kept him out of action for large parts of the past two seasons. But he had generated enough buzz in limited domestic white-ball matches he played to turn the heads of some other franchises.

Reports suggest Delhi Capitals and Gujarat Titans were interested in him, while apparently even national team selector Ajit Agarkar wanted to have a look at him to fast track him to the Indian team.

Lucknow did not release Yadav and once he was fully fit for IPL 2024, handed him his debut.

The praise

Former fast bowlers have been quick to point out that Yadav has a number of factors in his favour, including a smooth and seemingly effortless action, quick follow-through and good control of line despite the high pace.

Speaking to broadcasters Star Sports, England pacer Stuart Broad said his control and pace were remarkable.

“His control of line and length was exceptional for a young bowler. When you see world-class batters like Jonny Bairstow, who have played all over the world, when they are getting rushed, you know there’s something special,” he said.

Former India quick Varun Aaron said that Yadav has to be nurtured as he can be a real asset for the national team.

"Sometimes when you're maxing out and you are trying to bowl as fast as possible, you can be a little extra on the off side or stray down the leg side. Not one ball [was off line],” Aaron told ESPNcricinfo.

“I think it's really good signs – not just for him, for Indian cricket, because he's bowling some serious gas."

Fastest deliveries of IPL 2024

1. Mayank Yadav (Lucknow Super Giants): 156.7kph (97.3mph)

2. Nandre Burger (Rajasthan Royals): 153kph (95mph)

3. Gerald Coetzee (Mumbai Indians): 152.3kph (94.6mph)

4. Alzarri Joseph (Royal Challengers Bengaluru): 151.2kph (94mph)

5. Matheesha Pathirana (Chennai Super Kings): 150.9kph (93.7mph)

6. Umran Malik (Sunrisers Hyderabad): 147.9kph (92mph)

7. Kagiso Rabada (Punjab Kings): 147.2kph (91.4mph)

8. Mitchell Starc (Kolkata Knight Riders): 147.1kph (91.4mph)

9. Spencer Johnson (Gujarat Titans): 145kph (90mph)

10. Tushar Deshpande (CSK): 144.9kph (90mph)

11. Yash Thakur (Lucknow Super Giants): 144.6kph (89.8mph)

12. Pat Cummins (Sunrisers Hyderabad): 144.3kph (89.6mph)

13. Harshit Rana (Kolkata Knight Riders): 143.6kph (89.2mph)

14. Harshal Patel (Punjab Kings): 143.4kph (89mph)

Updated: April 03, 2024, 10:22 AM