Rookie leg-spinner Mayank Markande lit up the Indian Premier League (IPL) on his debut and on Thursday he once again grabbed the limelight with an impressive performance against Sunrisers Hyderabad. The IPL is known as a platform for youngsters to make a mark and Markande has grabbed the opportunity with both hands in the ongoing edition. In his first match, he picked up three wickets, including the prized scalp of MS Dhoni while against SRH he returned with figures of 4/23 to almost take MI over the finishing line.
Speaking about his sudden rise to fame, Markande said, “Just a year back, I was seated on a couch with my mother and watching reruns from the IPL archives on TV. I always dreamt of being here and today I am here. Life can change, this is unbelievable. I never thought I would be the purple cap holder and now would look to continue with my performances.”
Markande has also enjoyed skipper Rohit Sharma’s backing and revealing about his relationship with the India opener, he said, “I share a great rapport with our captain. He likes to keep things simple and keeps telling me to bowl the way I would bowl for my state. He doesn’t ask me to tinker with things too much. It works well for me and I enjoy bowling under his captaincy.”
Reflecting back on his days in junior cricket Markande said that he wasn’t too keen on playing cricket initially. “I wasn’t too big on playing cricket as a child. I would just go and play for fun and try to bowl fast. Even then, I would bowl the back of the hand delivery – my googly very well,” he said before adding, “When I used to bowl at the nets to Reetinder Singh Sodhi, he would often find it difficult to pick me. I also didn’t have the body to bowl fast so I turned to leg-spin. It was then when Jiwanjot Singh’s father kept a keen eye on me that I turned full time to bowling leg-spin.”
Markade also had a word of praise for veteran India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh. “This was the first year that I had the opportunity of meeting Harbhajan Singh. He supported me a lot when I was playing List A games for Punjab. He helped me remain in a positive frame of mind throughout and would often speak to me about bowling plans. He has immense knowledge about the game and I have managed to pick a few things from him. He is a legend of the game and I would want to meet him more often and pick his brains,” he signed off by saying.