Mayank Markande, the Punjab-born leg-break bowler who has made a sensational start to his IPL career, will face his biggest test yet when Mumbai Indians hosts Delhi Daredevils on Saturday at Wankhede Stadium.
Three of Markande's seven wickets have come with the googly, which the batsmen haven't always picked up from the hand and mostly been trapped in front of the stumps playing for the ball turning away from them. His stock delivery (leg-spin) has not been any less of a menace because of the extra bounce and dip Markande has managed by imparting extra revolutions on the ball. This 20-year-old, with the clever use of his armoury, has not only been potent but also tied the batsmen down.
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On Saturday, however, he goes up against a batsman who has been the best against spin over the last decade. Last Sunday, Gambhir gave another batting masterclass against spin by getting on top of the mysterious Mujeeb Ur Rahman, who troubled pretty much every other Delhi Daredevils batsmen. Gambhir, though, picked Mujeeb's variations expertly and accumulated runs off him too.
Markande v Gambhir forms one of the intriguing subplots of Saturday evening's match, which features two teams that have lost their first two matches of the season. While this battle might not decide the end result, it will certainly put their teams one up on the opposition.