Monday, May 27, 2024

‘You can’t have knee-jerk reaction and pick him for T20 WC’: Agarkar warned against flying IPL 2024 breakout star to USA

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It may have been only 33 games in the 2024 Indian Premier League, but the season has already seen some blistering individual performances. This year’s edition is particularly significant for the Indian team, as the outings in the league remain key to the T20 World Cup squad selection; the marquee tournament begins June 1, with India opening their campaign four days later against Ireland.

India’s coach Rahul Dravid and BCCI chief selector Ajit Agarkar during the Test series against England(ANI )

Amidst many strong comebacks and the old faces continuing to produce solid performances, a rookie pacer who caught everyone’s attention with his fiery speed was Lucknow Super Giants’ Mayank Yadav. The 21-year-old pacer made his debut for LSG this year during the side’s match against the Punjab Kings and made an instant impact. He picked three wickets against the side and then picked another three in their next game against the Royal Challengers Bengaluru; he proved economical, too, conceding only 14 off his four overs in the second game.

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Mayank, however, picked an injury during the side’s clash against the Gujarat Titans earlier this month and has since been away from action. However, fans – and even a few former cricketers – have already suggested his name for inclusion at the T20 World Cup. While LSG haven’t made an official statement on his fitness or his comeback date, Mayank returned to training ahead of the side’s clash against the Chennai Super Kings on Friday.

Tom Moody, the former IPL-winning coach, firmly believes it would be too early to bring Mayank into the fold for the national team. Citing his injury issues and his lack of experience at the highest level, Moody believes the pacer has to be groomed systemically rather than being fast-tracked in Team India.

“I’ve loved what I saw for a first couple of games, it was quite extraordinary to the point you want to see the replays of that game. But you cannot have a knee-jerk reaction and pick him in the World Cup, when he has only played two games and got injured,” Moody told ESPNCricinfo. 

“You don’t really know what he’s capable of doing over a long period of time, under pressure and in different roles. Yes, he’s an absolute lock for the future, and look after the asset. For me, it’s the 2026 World Cup you should be looking at (with him),” he said further.

LSG meet CSK

In the absence of Mayank Yadav, LSG faced two back-to-back defeats in the IPL 2024 and would look to avoid another loss when they host the high-flying Chennai Super Kings at the Ekana Stadium. The Super Giants dropped out of the top-4 following their previous defeat against the Kolkata Knight Riders and currently have three wins in six matches. 

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