Fresh off a hugely successful debut in India, pacer Shivam Mavi has made clear his intention to become the nation’s strike bowler, saying he wants to take early wickets in power plays by targeting the stumps.
Playing in his first T20I in the Wankhede against Sri Lanka on Tuesday, Mavi, 24, took two wickets in a power play to reject dangerous openers Pathum Nissanka (1) and Dhananjaya de Silva (8), taking the visitors back to 51/ 4 in the ninth over.
Mavi had match numbers of 4/22, which will warm the hearts of selectors looking for someone to pair with Jasprit Bumrah in white-ball cricket.
Following India’s two-run victory in the opening match of the three-match T20I series, the team’s bowling coach, Paras Mhambrey, asked young Mavi what was going through his mind when skipper Hardik Pandya handed him the new ball.
“My main agenda is to attack first in the power play as I always go for lbw bowled…whether the boundaries are there or not my mentality is to get wickets,” said the Noida cricketer, who had been waiting for India’s debut for the last six years.
Mhambrey praised Mavi’s work ethic since his Under-19 days, but complimented his “hard-working attitude” and also his determination to come back from injury and play in the domestic circuit.
“After the Under-19 (World Cup in 2018) when I played in the IPL, I had injuries, but I decided to improve my fitness because I got injured in between my appearances. I decided to work hard on my fitness and it paid off in this race,” said Mavi.
Mavi said it was a “dream come true” for him as getting the chance to play for India is already a big ask.
“It is difficult to get a chance in the first game. It’s also my first tour. You must have seen it’s not easy to get a chance and I had been waiting for this moment for the past six years when I got injured after the U-19 (World Cup). But I believed in myself and kept working hard with the belief that I have to play and perform for India,” said Mavi.
Mavi said he will not rest on his laurels in the opening game and will have to catch up on sleep for the frenetic series.
“Honestly, I’ll call my family, then I’ll go to sleep… because the series is coming very hectic.”