The 20-year-old leg spinner, Mayank Markande, has taken the ongoing season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) by storm in the first few matches he played for Mumbai Indians (MI).
Markande came out as a surprise package as he has taken as many as seven wickets in three matches at an economy rate of 8.00. He is currently at No 2 on ‘Most Wickets’ list of bowlers this IPL season.
Markande, who was bought by MI for Rs 20 lakh in the IPL players’ auction held in Bengaluru early in January, became an overnight sensation after he almost bowled Mumbai to victory in the opening two matches against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) respectively.
Before IPL, the young bowler from Bhatinda had around 2000 followers on his Instagram account. Now, he has 60.6k — an almost 300 percent increase in his fan base in just 10 days since IPL has started.
Markande sharpened his bowling skills while training at Dhruve Pandove Cricket Stadium in Patiala.
In an interview with IPLt20.com, Markande revealed that initially, he used to bowl pace deliveries.
“I wasn’t too big on playing cricket as a child. I would just go and play for fun and try to bowl fast. Even then, I would bowl the back of the hand delivery – my googly very well.”
Markande candidly added,
“When I used to bowl at the nets to Reetinder Singh Sodhi, he would often find it difficult to pick me. I also didn’t have the body to bowl fast so I turned to leg-spin. It was then when Jiwanjot Singh’s father kept a keen eye on me that I turned full time to bowling leg-spin.”
How many wickets will Markande be able to take and how many followers will he be able to gather at the end of the tournament, only time will tell.
Meanwhile, an unsuccessful Mumbai will aim to register their maiden win when they face Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) at the Wankhede Stadium tonight. MI is currently at the bottom of the points table.