IPL 2024: Watson against rushing LSG speedster Mayank into Test cricket too soon

Former Australian all-rounder feels the bowler has incredible value that he can provide in T20 and one-day cricket for India


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Lucknow Super Giants' Mayank Yadav bowls as Punjab Kings' captain Shikhar Dhawan (L) watches during the Indian Premier League. - AFP
Lucknow Super Giants' Mayank Yadav bowls as Punjab Kings' captain Shikhar Dhawan (L) watches during the Indian Premier League. - AFP

Published: Sat 6 Apr 2024, 2:50 PM

Former Australian all-rounder Shane Watson has some advice for Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) pace sensation Mayank Yadav.

Watson feels Mayank should not be pushed to play Test cricket so early in his career, but rather he should prioritise ODIs and T20Is to build the strength and resilience he needs to bowl lengthy spells in white clothing.

LSG will take on Gujarat Titans on Sunday. LSG is in the fourth spot with two wins and a loss, giving them four points, while GT is in the seventh spot with two wins and two losses, giving them four points as well.

The 21-year-old Mayank shot to fame with his fiery three-wicket spells against Punjab Kings (PBKS) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), during which he crossed speeds of 150 kmph consistently with the kind of line, length and control not seen a lot among Indian bowlers.

While the chatter around him continues among fans and the cricketing fraternity to take him to the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup in the West Indies/USA on June 1 or the Border-Gavaskar Trophy against Australia in Australia later in November this year, Watson has cautioned against pushing Yadav's body so hard in the starting stages of his career.

Speaking on JioCinema, Watson said that LSG is lucky to have Mayank dominating some of the best players out now so early in his career.

"Obviously, the talk of the town is Mayank Yadav, to be able to see someone of his world-class speed and then also world-class skill on display... Lucknow Super Giants are unbelievably lucky to be able to have him," said Watson on JioCinema.

"To be able to perform on the big stage against the best batters in the world and dominate them and blow them away is something very, very special."

Watson said that though in a perfect world it would be great for him to play tests, it is really challenging to adapt to the lengthy nature of the format, which requires one to bowl lengthy spells at high speed. The World Cup-winning all-rounder feels that the skills and talents of the pacer should be harnessed well without pushing him too much.

"Of course, in a perfect world, you would love to see him playing Test cricket. But just knowing how challenging it is on your body as a fast bowler, to be able to get your body accustomed and resilient enough to be able to handle bowling at high speed, 15-20 overs a day in a Test match on a flat wicket, right now, I do not see it necessary to be able to push his body to that limit," said Watson.

"There are not too many fast bowlers in the world who come through and are able to bowl at the speed and the control that Mayank does have, so they need to harness that young man's incredible talent and skill that he has. So, by pushing him to play Test cricket right now, I think that is not wise at all."

"I personally think it is a waste of Indian cricket, really trying to push him into four-day cricket and Test cricket, knowing the incredible value that he can provide in T20 and one-day cricket for India."

Watson said that he has seen many fast bowlers being pushed into Test cricket prematurely just because it happens to be the "ultimate" format of the sport.

Teams (from):

Gujarat Titans: Shubman Gill (c), David Miller, Matthew Wade, Wriddhiman Saha, Robin Minz, Kane Williamson, Abhinav Mandhar, B Sai Sudarshan, Darshan Nalkande, Vijay Shankar, Azmatullah Omarzai, Shahrukh Khan, Jayant Yadav, Rahul Tewatia, Kartik Tyagi, Shshant Mishra, Spencer Johnson, Noor Ahmad, Sai Kishore, Umesh Yadav, Rashid Khan, Joshua Little, Mohit Sharma and Manav Suthar.

Lucknow Super Giants: KL Rahul (c), Quinton de Kock, Nicholas Pooran, Ayush Badoni, Kyle Mayers, Marcus Stoinis, Deepak Hooda, Devdutt Padikkal, Ravi Bishnoi, Naveen-ul-Haq, Krunal Pandya, Yudhvir Singh, Prerak Mankad, Yash Thakur, Amit Mishra, Shamar Joseph, Mayank Yadav, Mohsin Khan, K. Gowtham, Arshin Kulkarni, M. Siddharth, Ashton Turner, Matt Henry, Mohd Arshad Khan.

Match starts at 7.30 PM.


Matches played: 4

Gujarat Titans wins: 4

Lucknow Super Giants: 0

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