All eyes were on fast bowler Shivam Mavi when a youngster-laden Team India took on Sri Lanka in the first T20I on Tuesday in Mumbai. The former U-19 star made a dream debut, returning figures of 4 for 22 in his 4-over spell to help India win the series opener by 2 runs.
It was a ‘dream come true moment’ for the youngster who received his debut cap from skipper Hardik Pandya at a jam-packed Wankhede Stadium. Mavi opened his account right in his first over by cleaning up Pathum Nissanka for 1. The youngster then went on to remove the likes of Dhananjaya de Silva (8), Wanindu Hasaranga (21) and Maheesh Theekshana (1) to complete a four-wicket haul on debut.
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After India took a 1-0 lead in the series, team’s bowling coach Paras Mhambrey had a chat with Mavi during which the latter expressed his feelings about making an international debut.
“Simply a dream come true moment for me. It’s my first tour, and getting a chance right in the first game is a big thing. Usually, players don’t the chance this quickly but it happened with me. I waited for six years after the U-19 World Cup and got injured, but I never stopped believing in myself and kept working hard,” Mavi said.
The 24-year-old bowler from Uttar Pradesh had to wait for 6 years after playing an important role in India’s victory at the Under-19 World Cup in 2018. He has been a prominent face in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and domestic circuit but was often held back due to injuries.
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But Mavi kept on defying all the odds and on Tuesday, it was finally his day. Speaking about his hard work, he said, “After the U-19 World Cup when I played IPL and domestic games, I suffered injuries. But I was clear in my mind that I need to raise my fitness level. I was performing but was getting injured as well. So, I worked hard and got the desired results.”
The youngster further spoke about the mindset with which he took the field against Sri Lanka in the T20I series opener.
“I’ve played IPL games at this ground. So, my plan is to attack in the powerplay. Even if I get hit for boundaries, it doesn’t matter. I keep on looking for wickets,” Mavi concluded.
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