After grabbing headlines with his efforts in the 2018 Under-19 World Cup, Shivam Mavi had to endure painful back injuries for a while before he could get back on track.
The 24-year-old pacer’s perseverance paid off earlier in the year when he made his international debut in T20s playing six matches, three against Sri Lanka and New Zealand.
It was a reward for his hard yards in domestic cricket over the last year, where he came up with commendable performances across formats. The young pacer hopes to make a stronger case for himself in the upcoming season and is looking to use the Deodhar Trophy to break into the one-day side.
“In 2018, I had back-to-back stress fractures. So, I had to concentrate on my workload management and improve my fitness levels. My body has adapted well to that,” said Mavi on how he forged his way to a national call-up.
“It feels nice when you come after good performances at the lower levels. It helps you be in a very positive mindset, especially when you earn your call after good performances,” he added.
However, despite playing for the country, Mavi found himself warming the benches at Gujarat Titans during the Indian Premier League (IPL) and did not get a single game because of team combinations. It meant he was out of competitive action for nearly four months until the Duleep Trophy, where he led Central Zone.
“When you do well for the country in the same format, and then you don’t get the opportunity, it does affect you mentally. But I managed myself, focussing on improving my fitness and managing the bowling workload. After that was Duleep Trophy, and I was focussing on bowling long spells,” said Mavi about his IPL stint this year.
The Uttar Pradesh pacer got back in his stride quickly as he took nine wickets in the two Duleep games, including a six-for in the semifinals. “I have been doing well in all tournaments and want to continue it in the Deodhar Trophy and hopefully get into the one-day squad,” Mavi added on his targets for the upcoming season. With India entering the transition phase, the former U-19 star will be someone who the selectors will keep a keen eye on for the long term.
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