Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Mumbai Indians (MI) registered a convincing victory over Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) in the Eliminator to book a berth for them in the Qualifier 2 of the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

MI rode on a brilliant bowling display by a bowler who was virtually unknown before that. Meet Akash Madhwal who ended with an incredible figure of 5/5 in 3.3 overs. Thanks to Madhwal’s fiery spell, LSG were dismissed for 101 runs in reply to MI’s 182/8.Madhwal has not impressed on one occasion only. He also bowled well in MI’s final league game against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), in which he got figures of 4/37. 

In the all important Eliminator, Madhwal equalled the record of India spin legend Anil Kumble. The former India captain had recorded figures of 5/5 for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) against Rajasthan Royals (RR) in Cape Town in IPL 2009.

In absence of seasoned speedsters like Jasprit Bumrah and Jofra Archer, Madhwal got a chance in the MI team. The 29-year-old Madhwal gave up his regular job as an engineer to pursue cricket professionally. He earned reputation in Uttarakhand’s tennis-ball cricket circuit where his ability to bowl the yorker was honed. It was the yorker that he used to full effect against LSG and SRH as well. 

Gradually Madhwal graduated to more serious cricket levels. However, his love for bowling the yorker stayed. His journey at the highest level started in 2018 when he joined the Uttarakhand domestic team after the state cricket association received full membership from BCCI.

Madhwal played 10 first class games for Uttarakhand and picked 12 wickets. He has also played 17 List A games and taken 18 wickets. He has now played a total of 29 T20 games and grabbed 37 wickets. He was first taken in by RCB as a net bowler in 2019. Later he was picked by MI for the same role. However, his talent was soon recognized by MI management and he was rewarded a place in the playing XI. His performance level gradually increased and in the Eliminator, it was the Uttarakhand pacer who shone the brightest with a stunning bowling display.