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Mayank Markande : The spin master in making

The phenomenal rise of Mayank Markande in the cricketing circuit is quite commendable. Is he the next legendary spinner in the making?

Shruti Banerjee
Last updated: 18.02.2019
Mayank Markande's celebration after picking up a wicket.

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Another mystery spinner is in the making in India, and he is none other than Mayank Markande; who came into limelight when he bagged three wickets including former India Captain as well as Chennai Super Kings captain in Indian Premier League (IPL) MS Dhoni in his debut for Mumbai Indians. He picked up 15 wickets in 14 matches during the IPL, last year.
Leg-spinners are one of the most critical parts of the team, in any format of the game. However, Markande started playing cricket at the age of seven, at the NICS Academy in Patiala under Mahesh Inder Singh; who is the former Punjab off-spinner and the father of former Indian all-rounder Reetinder Singh Sodhi.
Though he started playing as a medium-pacer, Singh asked him to focus on leg-spin only. Markande has been under the guidance of former India U-19 assistant coach Munish Bali for the last seven years.
2018 has been the year of the 21-year old leg-spinner. He made his debut for Punjab in T20 in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy for the 2017-18 seasons on 14 January 2018. He made his List A debut for Punjab in the Vijay Hazare Trophy in the 2017-18 season on 7 February 2018 in Bangalore. He made his debut in the IPL during this time. In January 2018, Mumbai Indians brought him in the 2018 IPL auction where his brilliance impressed everyone, and he became a household name.

However, the last six months have seen his rise in the game. In October 2018, he found his name in India B's squad for the 2018–19 Deodhar Trophy. He made his first-class debut for Punjab in the Ranji Trophy for the 2018-19 seasons on 1 November 2018. He was the leading wicket-taker for his state in the tournament, with 29 scalps in six matches.
In December 2018, he was a part of India's team for the ACC Emerging Teams Asia Cup in Sri Lanka, where he claimed 12 wickets in four matches.
His achievement so far looks quite impressive. In 7 First-Class matches, he picked up 34 wickets including three five-wicket hauls and two four-wicket hauls. In his 23 List A matches, he scalped 49 wickets including three four-wicket hauls. He has played 18 T20 matches where he bagged 20 wickets including one four-wicket haul.
He was the leading wicket-taker for Punjab U-19 with 25 and 35 wickets in the Cooch Behar trophy in the 2015-16 and 2016-2017 seasons respectively. His brilliance helped him to get his maiden call-up for the country. In February 2019, he was named in India's T20I squad for the series against Australia. Hope he would be able to perform and leave the mark whenever he gets the chance to play.

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