NEW DELHI – Mayank Yadav stayed patient over the last two years as injury delayed his Indian Premier League debut but the 21-year-old has now emerged as cricket’s latest pace sensation and is being touted as a potential wildcard for India’s test tour of Australia.

Lucknow Super Giants brought the speedster onboard in 2022 but he did not play a single match that season and a torn hamstring kept him out of last year’s tournament.

Making his delayed IPL debut against Punjab Kings on Saturday, Mayank claimed 3-27, rattling the likes of England batter Jonny Bairstow with his express speed.

He hurled a 155.8kph thunderbolt in that match to register the league’s fastest ball this season, prompting West Indian Ian Bishop to say he bowled “like a child of the wind”.

Further proof of his fiery pace came in Tuesday’s victory against Royal Challengers Bengaluru when he claimed 3-14 with Australians Glenn Maxwell and Cameron Green among his victims.

Mayank frequently topped the 150kph mark and walked away with his second successive player of the match award.

Lucknow captain KL Rahul said he was so happy to see Maynak deliver on his potential in the last couple of games.

“He quietly waited for two seasons because of injury but he has been working very hard,” he added. “He understands bowling 155kph is not easy. It’s great seeing him bowl that fast from behind the stumps.”

Former India test batter WV Raman said Mayank should hone his long-format skills in county cricket before being unleashed in a five-test series in Australia later this year.

Judging by the way his lightning-fast bowling stunned Maxwell and Green, Maynak would have no fears about taking on the world test champions.

“Green’s wicket was special for me because I bowled him, and every fast bowler likes that kind of dismissal,” Maynak said. “I was bowling with more aggression having taken a wicket in the previous over.” REUTERS

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