Mayank Yadav picks up injury as Lucknow Super Giants ease past Gujarat Titans

Fast bowler suffers side strain during 33-run victory

Lucknow Super Giants' Mayank Yadav bowled just one over against Gujarat Titans in Lucknow before walking off the field due to injury. AFP
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The newest pace sensation of IPL and Indian cricket, Mayank Yadav, suffered a setback in his meteoric rise on Sunday as he walked off the field during Lucknow Super Giants' match against Gujarat Titans.

Bowling the fourth over of the chase, Yadav was way down on pace and was easily hit for three boundaries before he left the field with what is reported to be a side strain.

He did not return to the field again at the Ekana Stadium in Lucknow, where a large number of fans had gathered to watch him bowl, with many carrying placards of his fastest deliveries this IPL.

Lucknow did not let Yadav's absence affect their gameplan as the rest of the bowlers raised their game to defend a target of 164 with ease.

Spinners Krunal Pandya (3-11) and Ravi Bishnoi (1-8) applied the brakes after a brisk start from Gujarat openers Shubman Gill and Sai Sudharsan, before young quick Yash Thakur tore through the line-up, picking up 5-30 to help bowl out Gujarat for 130 and seal a 33-run win.

While Lucknow celebrated their win, the focus was on Yadav. The 21-year-old became an overnight sensation in just two matches as he bowled in excess of 155kph against Punjab Kings and Royal Challengers Bengaluru, bowling at top speed of 97mph and delivering match-winning efforts in both games; it was the first time in the history of the tournament that anyone had won 'player of the match' in their first two games.

His blistering pace had made him a strong contender for a spot in the T20 World Cup in June. However, his injury will be a cause for concern, not only for his franchise but the national team management, who have had their eyes on him for some time.

After the match, all-rounder Pandya said Yadav did not look too worried about the injury.

"I don't know what is happening but I did have a brief couple of seconds' of chat - he seemed okay, which was quite a relief for us," Pandya told the host broadcaster.

However, it is believed that the side strain is a recurrence of the injury that kept him out of action last season. Yadav has also faced ankle and hamstring issues.

Former India opener Virender Sehwag, speaking on Cricbuzz, said side strain is a common injury for fast bowlers.

"I have seen that happen many times with genuine fast bowlers - it is either ankle injury or side strain," Sehwag said. "When Ashish Nehra started his career, and even Zaheer Khan, they would routinely get side strain or hurt their ankle. Since Yadav bowls so fast, side strain is expected. He could be out for many weeks as this injury can take a long time to heal."

There are other fitness concerns in the IPL. Delhi Capitals all-rounder and Australia's likely T20 captain Mitchell Marsh has been sidelined due to a hamstring injury.

According to the Capitals, the extent of Marsh's injury will be known only after a week, by which time their campaign could well be over as they are currently at the bottom of the table with four defeats in five games and a terrible net run rate.

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Updated: April 08, 2024, 11:15 AM