IPL 2024: ‘Allow ball to come to you, not try to force it off front or back foot’, says Hayden on how to counter Mayank Yadav’s pace

Bengaluru: Former Australian cricketer Mathew Hayden has offered his insights on how teams can effectively combat the remarkable pace of young Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) fast-bowler Mayank Yadav. He suggests that batters facing such pace should focus on allowing the ball to approach them, rather than trying to forcefully play shots off either the front or back foot.

Mayank showcased his pace and talent to help LSG beat Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) by 28 runs. After breaching the 150kmph mark nine times on Saturday as he bowled a delivery at 155.8 kph, the then-fastest delivery in the ongoing season. The right-handed pacer raised the bar once again when he cranked up the speed gun once again, bowling the fastest delivery of IPL 2024 measured at 156.7 kmph, against Cameron Green in Tuesday’s clash against RCB at M.Chinnaswamy Stadium.

Speaking on Star Sports Cricket Live show, Hayden said, “One of the things that happens in this competition is that all eye balls, all those great players watching him, they are working out strategies of how they are going to play him. If you bang it on length and the pace is fast, it’s tough to hit. And the way you’ve to play someone of that pace is that you need to allow the ball to come to you. Not try to force it off the front foot or back foot. Just absorb the pressure and the ball will do the rest because the pace of the delivery.”

Another Australian Smith also conveyed his insights, suggesting that batters ought to leverage the pace as effectively as Mayank does to score runs behind the wickets, making the pacer adopt a different approach.

“I don’t think he bowled a slower ball. They should be using the pace as much as he can to score behind the wicket and make him do something different. He’s bowling quick and if you get some bat on it particularly in the Chinnaswamy the ball races away. So try and use his pace a little bit more instead of finding it. Teams are finding it at the moment and they are coming well short,” said Smith.

With his sheer pace and accuracy, the 21-year-old claimed the prized wickets of Glenn Maxwell, Green and Rajat Patidar and broke the back of the RCB’s run-chase, helping LSG bundle them out for 153. He returned with the figures of 3-14 in his four-over quota.

Speaking on Mayank’s fiery performance against RCB, Smith said he is impressed with Mayank consistency, noting that many players often have one standout game but struggle to replicate it consistently thereafter.

“If you look at all those balls, there wasn’t one slower balls there, so you don’t have to worry about that at this stage. He might have it in his armoury, we haven’t seen it yet but you can probably trust to get inside the line or maybe give a bit of room and use the pace and let it come to you.

“The thing that impressed me is that he’s played his debut game the other day obviously, they’ll be a lot of hype around him and you see a lot of players have that one good game and then just can’t back it up. But he’s come straight back in, bowled like an absolute genius, got out Glenn Maxwell one of the best T20 batters in the world, Cameron Green, an international player who plays fast bowling really well and Patidar as well. So three quality players. So Mayank Yadav, remember the name,” Smith added.

With two wins and a loss from three games, LSG are currently fourth on the points table with four points. KL Rahul-led side will head back to Lucknow and prepare for their home game against the formidable Gujarat Titans at the BRSABV Ekana Cricket Stadium on April 7.


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