Fresh from a successful India debut, pacer Shivam Mavi has made his intentions clear of becoming the country’s strike bowler, saying he wants to take early wickets in the Powerplay by targeting the stumps.
At the Wankhede against Sri Lanka on Tuesday, the 24-year-old Mavi took two wickets in the Powerplay to dismiss dangerous opener Pathum Nissanka and Dhananjaya de Silva, reducing the visiting team to 51 for 4 in the ninth over.
Mavi had match figures of 4 for 22, which will warm the hearts of the selectors who are looking for someone to pair with Jasprit Bumrah in white-ball cricket.
Following India’s two-run win in the opening game of the three-match T20I series, the team’s bowling coach, Paras Mhambrey, asked the 24-year-old Mavi what went through his mind when skipper Hardik Pandya handed the new ball to him. “My main agenda is to attack first in the powerplay as I always go for lbw bowled... whether the boundaries happen or not, my mindset is to get wickets,” said the Noida cricketer, who had been waiting for the India debut for the last six years.
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Mhambrey, while praising Mavi’s work ethic since his Under-19 days, complimented his “hardworking attitude” and also his resolution to come back from injuries and play in the domestic circuit.
“After the Under-19 (World Cup in 2018) when I played in the IPL, I had injuries but I decided to level up my fitness because I was getting injured in between my performance. I decided to work hard on my fitness and it paid me back in this match,” said Mavi.
Mavi said it was a “dream come true” for him as getting the opportunity to play for India is in itself a big ask. “It is difficult to get a chance in the first match. Also, it is my first tour. You must have seen that it’s not easy to get chance and I had been waiting for this moment from the last six years when I was injured after the U-19 (World Cup). But I believed in myself and have kept working hard with the faith that I have to play and perform for India,” said Mavi.
Mavi said he will not rest on his laurels in the opening match and needs to catch up on his sleep for the hectic series.
“Honestly, I will call up my family, then I will sleep... because the series is very hectic ahead.”