The Mayank Dilemma: Should he be burdened with more pressure or allowed to mature at his own pace

According to Broad, Mayank has got a perfectly smooth run up and his action is such that it enables him to pack the full flow of his run up into propelling the ball at high speeds.

Young Mayank Yadav has taken the IPL by storm. Although he is only 21 years old, he has clocked speeds of about 150 kph or more and is being viewed as India’s latest find in the fast bowling department. Former England cricketer Stuart Broad feels that Mayank should be fast tracked into the Indian team and given a chance in international cricket.

According to Broad, Mayank has got a perfectly smooth run up and his action is such that it enables him to pack the full flow of his run up into propelling the ball at high speeds. His braced front leg at the time of delivery of the ball is ideal for a fast bowler. “I did a lot of my learning by playing international cricket at a young age and so will he,” explained Broad.

Will it be wise?

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There are others too who feel that Mayank should get a quick promotion.

But will that be really wise? The youngster from Delhi has played only one first class match and lacks experience. Creating a sensation in his first IPL series may not be a full indication of his potential.

At the international level he will be bowling exclusively to the world’s best batsmen. To tackle them sheer pace will not be enough. They will adjust themselves to his speed. Deceptive varieties have to be developed and Mayank must learn to spot a batter’s weak points. His first class experience consists of one match and two wickets. In List A cricket, he has played 17 matches and in T20 he has played only 12 matches. Surely this is not enough for him to be inducted into the Indian team.

Haste may be bad

A premature and hasty step could end up destroying the potential that he undoubtedly has. If he is thrown in at the deep end, he may get hammered repeatedly and it may finish his confidence and morale. There have been many such examples of highly talented young players who ultimately fell by the wayside when they faced the fire of international sport.

A teenage prodigy like Sachin Tendulkar is seen very rarely. Sachin was blooded at a very young age but he flourished. However many others perished. Pakistan has a long history of players whose immense potential failed to bear fruit.

Hirwani is an example

In India there is the example of Narendra Hirwani who was picked to make his Test debut when he was only 19 years old against the West Indies team led by Viv Richards in 1988. In the first innings Hirwani took 8 wickets for 61 runs. In the second innings Hirwani continued the rampage with 8 wickets for 75 runs. His match figures were a record breaking 16 wickets for 136 runs.

But as time progressed the rival batters figured out his tricks and attacked him relentlessly. He did not have the maturity and mental toughness to fight his way out of the predicament. His confidence was shattered and his career ended after only 17 matches.

Mayank Yadav should not suffer the same fate. Already high expectations are riding on his young shoulders. Every time he takes the ball in his hands, thousands of spectators and dozens of experts think they will see something extraordinary. But there will be times when he fails to deliver the goods for reasons beyond his control. Immediately the very same experts and fans will write him off as a failure.

So India should ensure that Mayank Yadav does not end up in the dustbin. Former Aussie fast bowler Brett Lee has also expressed concerns about the pressure on Mayank. “I am super excited by him but I don’t want to put extra pressure on him,” Lee commented. So it is best if Mayank is allowed to develop and mature into a top strike bowler and gain more experience before he is thrown into the lion’s den.

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