Mayank Yadav has played only two IPL games but the conversation has already started if he should be part of India’s squad for the T20 World Cup in June.

On his IPL debut on Saturday, Mayank picked up 3 for 27 against Punjab Kings and was named the Player of the Match. During his spell, he clocked 155.8kph, the fastest delivery of IPL 2024.

Three days later, against Royal Challengers Bengaluru at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, he bettered it. He clocked 156.7kph and picked up 3 for 14 to claim his second consecutive Player-of-the-Match award.

Talking on ESPNcricinfo’s show T20 Time Out Live, Tom Moody said: “He is definitely in the conversation. Whether you take that risk punting on him or not is another conversation because you also need to consider what skillset you need in that reserve fast bowler – is it someone who is a powerplay bowler, or someone who has the ability to bowl at the death, all those subtle skillsets are important when you are talking about a T20 World Cup.”

Mitchell McClenaghan, Moody’s co-panellist, said if Mayank continues in the same manner, he would be “right in the mix” to join the T20 World Cup squad.

“If his form continues throughout this tournament, the World Cup starts six days after the IPL, I think it would be crazy not to look at the players who are in form going into that tournament,” McClenaghan said.

“He may not have the caps behind him, but if he continues this vein of form and can keep his pace up throughout the whole tournament and keep winning games – he has won two games in a row, his first two games – then you are right in the mix. Long shot but you wouldn’t say never.”

Fast bowler Varun Aaron also had the same view. “I think no matter what the chatter is, he should focus on one game at a time,” he said. “Because that is going to automatically help him make his case. With the kind of work he has put in in the last two games, that does bring a lot of eyeballs but it has to be repeated over a period of time. The T20 World Cup, I am sure, he is going to be a contender if he backs it up with a few more performances because he is bowling absolute gas.”

Apart from the searing pace, what has stood out is Mayank’s accuracy. On Tuesday, he bowled 17 dots in his spell, and not a single wide or no-ball.

“What’s so impressive is it’s not only just the pace – it’s like everyone likes seeing a Nicholas Pooran hit the ball out of the ground, it is exhilarating to watch – but it’s his control,” Moody said. “Not only he has got the control, but he looks like he has got quite a mature head on his shoulders with regards to how he is bowling, and what lines he is bowling and lengths he is bowling. He is a real find.”

Aaron was equally impressed with Mayank’s control.

“Going into the game, we said that lines are going to be important,” he said. “Not just lines, even lengths he adapted. He bowled a few yorkers, it’s not just bowling back of length and being one-dimensional. The ball to Cameron Green was beautiful. He had hit him for a really convincing pull the previous ball.

“I think he was a second late on that [wicket] ball. It just ricocheted off the stumps, I think it went one-bounce four. It is great signs. He has got really good control. And he has got a really, really repeatable clean action that enables him to bowl those lines time and again. Not a single cut, not a single ball down the leg side. Unbelievable.”

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