I’m really excited to see how Mayank progresses in next few months: Brett Lee

Brett Lee

New Delhi, Apr 2: With the T20 World Cup round the corner, Australia’s former fast-bowling star Brett Lee is looking forward to new pace sensation Mayank Yadav’s progression with great anticipation, describing him as the “talk of the town.”

Representing Lucknow Super Giants against Punjab Kings, Mayank (3/27) stole the limelight with his searing pace on his IPL debut. In the 12th over of Punjab’s innings, he bowled the season’s fastest ball at 155.8 kmph and went viral on social media.

“First things first, I don’t want to put any extra pressure on him because if we are talking about the chance to represent India, it could put pressure on a guy who is just 21 years of age.

“But I am super impressed with what I have seen so far. He has got great pace, nice action, and got three wickets the other night. So, I’m really excited to see how he progresses in next few months,” Lee, a JioCinema IPL expert, said during a roundtable on Tuesday.

“Mayank Yadav is the talk of the town. He has crossed 155 the other night, and I would love to see him bowl even quicker tonight. I am looking forward to seeing how he backs himself up,” Lee added before Lucknow Super Giants’ game against Royal Challengers Bengaluru at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.

Mayank’s 150kmph thunderbolts amazed one and all during his side Lucknow Super Giants’ 21-run win over Punjab Kings last Saturday.

His extra pace rattled Jonny Bairstow, Prabhsimran Singh and Jitesh Sharma and led to PBKS’ downfall. He consistently clocked 150kmph and above on the speedometer during his four-over spell, to be adjudged the player of the match.

When the discussion turned to Virat Kohli, Lee said big players such as the Indian batting maestro must be part of the upcoming T20 World Cup, which will be held in the USA and West Indies across June.

“Look, I think that any chance you get to represent the country that’s essentially it’s all about when you play cricket. So, I would love to see the big players kind of play in the T20 World Cup. It’s important, and I would love to see Kohli playing in the World Cup,” he said.

While Mayank has caught his attention with his pace and action, Lee feels Jasprit Bumrah remains a world class operator who was not used in the “correct fashion” by Mumbai Indians skipper Hardik Pandya.

“I think the bowler who still leaves me impressed, you know, from the fast bowling point of view, I am still impressed with Jasprit Bumrah. The other evening (against Rajasthan Roayls on Monday) he probably didn’t bowl the best, but he is still world class.

“The one think I would say about Jasprit Bumrah is that they didn’t use him in the correct fashion… Bowled him fourth and fifth over couple of games. And then in the last one he took the new ball, and even though it was the second over, it was hard for him to control the swing because he hadn’t bowled with the brand new ball for a number of games.

“So, I would love to see Jasprit Bumrah take the brand new ball in the first over.”

The Aussie also gave his thumbs up to the two-bouncer rule in the IPL, saying it has helped in maintaining a bit of balance between the bat and ball in a format that massively favours the batters.

“Two bouncer rule is good, because essentially what we have seen throughout the IPL is that it favours the batsmen. Smaller boundaries, only one bouncer an over above shoulder height, the free hit.. There were a lot of things going against the bowlers.

“The two-bouncer rule allows the fast bowlers to plan the batter’s dismissal. Now they have got the option to bowl a short ball in the first ball and also the last ball.

When asked to pick his top four teams this IPL season, Lee put his money on Delhi Capitals, Royal Challengers Bengaluru, Chennai Super Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad.

“I did a prediction at the start two weeks ago. I see Delhi Capitals finishing in top this season, I have got RCB, the girls have done it and it’s time for the guys to step up, then there is CSK and Sunrisers Hyderabad.”

Asked about the ‘Impact Player’ rule, Lee said it “adds a lot of colour and value to the IPL”.

“I think they are trying to see how they go with different options. It comes down to teams, how they manage their impact player the best. There is a conjecture around if you win the toss you have more of a chance of winning the game using the impact player.

“But then, you can also argue, if you win the toss you could pick the best in your conditions, you know to either bat or bowl first, which will suit on a particular wicket on a particular night.

“I think they might go back to the drawing board later, but at the moment, it’s working nicely,” Lee said.

Speaking about Mumbai Indians’ poor start to the tournament, Lee warned against writing them off keeping in mind their penchant to fight back after slow starts.

“They are the most successful team in IPL’s history. Once they won the title after losing four matches on trot. I am not concerned about Mumbai Indians at the moment. They are showing signs of how good they are as a team. I think patience is the key.”

MI have lost their first three matches. (PTI)