Former cricketers push for pace sensation Mayank Yadav in T20 World Cup squad

The debate around Mayank Yadav's rapid elevation to India's T20 World Cup squad is gaining momentum after his standout performances in just two IPL games. 

On his IPL debut last Saturday, Lucknow Super Giants’ 21-year-old Mayank Yadav sat up and made the world take notice of him.

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His irresistible spell of 3/27 against Punjab Kings earned him the Player of the Match award. His spell included a delivery clocked at 155.8kph, marking the fastest bowl of the IPL 2024 season to that point. 

Mayank Yadav betters his own record

Merely three days later, Yadav outdid himself in a game against Royal Challengers Bengaluru at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, where he clocked a staggering 156.7kph and secured another 3 wickets for 14 runs. This performance not only won him his second consecutive Player-of-the-Match award but also sparked a conversation about his potential inclusion in the upcoming T20 World Cup.

Fastest balls in IPL history

RankNameSpeed (kmph)Year
1Shaun Tait157.712011
2Gerald Coetzee157.42024
3Lockie Ferguson157.32022
4Umran Malik1572022
5Anrich Nortje156.222020
6Umran Malik1562022
7Mayank Yadav155.82024
Mayank Yadav
Photo by Icon Sport

Discussing Yadav's prospects on ESPNcricinfo's T20 Time Out Live, Tom Moody highlighted that Yadav's current form makes him a considerable candidate for the World Cup squad. He pointed out the importance of selecting a player with the right skill set for the squad, considering the specific needs for a reserve fast bowler. 

“He is definitely in the conversation [for T20 World Cup],” Moody said. “Whether you take that risk punting on him or not is another conversation because you also need to consider what skillset you need in that reserve fast bowler – is it someone who is a powerplay bowler, or someone who has the ability to bowl at the death, all those subtle skillsets are important when you are talking about a T20 World Cup.”

Fast bowler Varun Aaron echoed these sentiments, advising Yadav to concentrate on his game one match at a time, which would naturally bolster his case for World Cup selection. Aaron was particularly impressed with Yadav's speed and control over his deliveries, which have garnered significant attention.

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Tom Moody also praised Yadav's control and maturity, aspects that are as crucial as his pace. According to Moody, Yadav's ability to maintain control over his lines and lengths despite his speed is what makes him a remarkable talent.

Manoj Tiwary went a step further, stating on Cricbuzz that were he in chief selector Ajit Agarkar's position, he would place Yadav's name right after Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami for the World Cup team, underscoring Yadav's potential to bring an element of surprise against opposing batters. 

“If I were Ajit Agarkar (chief selector), I would write Mayank Yadav’s name after Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami for the ICC T20 World Cup 2024. This guy deserves to play in the big tournament as he can surprise the batters. Look what he did with Maxwell and Green. He has a class and skills to play for India at the highest level,” Tiwary said.

Similarly, Virender Sehwag advocated for Yadav's inclusion in the national team, pointing out his effectiveness against seasoned fast-bowling players like Maxwell and Green, and emphasizing the need for a bowler capable of challenging top batters.

These endorsements from former cricketers and analysts alike underscore the excitement surrounding Mayank Yadav's performances in the IPL and the potential impact he could have on the international stage. His pace, coupled with remarkable control and a mature approach to bowling, make him a promising candidate for India's squad in the forthcoming T20 World Cup, as fast as that might seem.


Rohit is an experienced cricket writer based in India