‘Special’ Markande impresses Venkatapathy Raju

The former India left-arm spinner believes the Mumbai Indians leg-spinner would provide ‘fantastic headache’ to State and national selectors.

Mayank Markande is the joint-highest wicket-taker in the league so far, with 10 wickets from seven matches.   -  Vivek Bendre

The bowling of Mumbai Indians leg-spinner Mayank Markande has impressed former India left-arm spinner Venkatapathy Raju.

20-year-old Markande has been the find for Mumbai Indians this season; he has taken 10 wickets in the league so far with a reasonable economy rate of 7.52.

Raju considers Markande a talented youngster. In an interaction with PTI, he said, “The main thing is [his] first year [and the] first match and [Mumbai Indians] made him play, which itself shows the talent he has. You have seen a lot of youngsters come in and they sit [out] for a year, then they are put in. That’s why Markande, Mujeeb (Ur Rahman, of Kings XI Punjab) and [others are] straightaway made to play — that means they are special.”

‘Fantastic headache’

Raju believes Markande would be a cause for “fantastic headache” for State and national selectors. He said, “Rohit Sharma is using him as a strike bowler and he has been [chosen] to pick wickets and he has been doing that. And that’s the talent we have and [it] is going to be a headache for the selectors, which is fantastic headache.”

Read: Rohit Sharma clinches second win for Mumbai Indians

Raju was pleased to see the rise in the number of wrist spinners this season. He said, “This season we have seen a lot of leg-spinners, wrist spinners coming in, which is a huge revelation. They will be hit once a while, but you can’t just take them away and they come back strongly. Wrist spinners are wicket-taking bowlers.”

Preview: Royals challenge for high-flying Sunrisers

Asked about Markande’s stock delivery, he said, “The strongest point for him is control at that age. Showing no fear seeing who the opponent is or who the batsman is, he is just going about his bowling and that little variation. The speed and length of what he is bowling is amazing.”

Sunrisers the best

Notwithstanding Markande’s success, Raju considers Sunrisers Hyderabad to possess the best bowling arsenal in the league. “[Sunrisers Hyderabad] has [the best bowling attack] in this IPL. They are defending their totals [successfully], they are planning [well] and so far they are the best,” Raju said.

“Bhuvneshwar [Kumar] has been doing well for the last five-six seasons. He is the most experienced and a thinking bowler. [With him] being there, a lot of players are learning. Siddarth Kaul is [also] bowling brilliantly. But the advantage [Sunrisers Hyderabad has] is even if Bhuvi is not playing, you have Sandeep Sharma [to fall back on]. He has got the knuckle ball and bowls good yorkers,” Raju reasoned.

‘Natural talent’

Raju also reserved some praise for Rashid Khan. He said, “If you see the present Sunrisers Hyderabad team, the bowling attack is fantastic. And you have got Basil Thampi and Rashid. I have been seeing Rashid right from U-19 level. I have seen enough of Rashid and Mujeeb, the way they bowl is amazing. They have got natural talent and variation and they have got [Mohammad] Nabi too.”

This season, Raju is commentating on the IPL in Telugu, aired on Star Maa Movies.

  Dugout videos