‘Mayank’s body needs management, great strengthening’: Ian Bishop on LSG pace star

Public TV English
Public TV English
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NEW DELHI: Former West Indies pacer Ian Bishop lauded Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) pace sensation Mayank Yadav, saying that his pace and control are rare and he needs to be managed properly through proper medical, strength and conditioning and diet-related experts.

Mayank set the IPL 2024 on fire with his fiery pace against Punjab Kings (PBKS) and Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB). He took six wickets in two matches and got the ‘Player of the Match’ award in both games.

Mayank touched the speed of 150 kmph consistently and his control over line and length left many in awe. Though he is currently out due to an injury, the entire cricket fraternity awaits his return.

Bishop said that everyone agrees that the bowler is a special talent and his speed is rare. But also cautioned that he has had a history of injuries and many fast bowlers in India have broken down due to injuries. The former bowler pointed out that Mayank’s body needs management and strengthening.

“Everybody agrees that Mayank Yadav is a special talent. It is very rare to have someone who can consistently bowl around 145 kph and go up to the mid-150s. Mayank has got something that you cannot buy: pace and control,” said Bishop, as quoted by ESPNCricinfo in his column.

“But he also has an injury history, and in this, he is not unique. We have seen several Indian fast-bowling talents break down. Rohit Sharma, I remember, had expressed his frustration about bowlers picking up injuries frequently.”

“Mayank’s body needs management and it needs great strengthening. How do we ensure his talent gets the chance to blossom fully?” he concluded.

Bishop said that he is a great American sports fan, in particular of NBA basketball, and pointed out that in such tournaments, players invest in themselves through support staff and systems and national teams, franchises need to go the same route to preserve special talents.

“I am a big American sports fan and I particularly follow the NBA, where the top players invest, or have others invest, in themselves to the tune of millions of dollars, in terms of having support staff and systems. Tennis players, too, do the same. I believe it is time for cricket to go that way — for the top franchises and national teams to preserve special talents like Mayank and support their growth”, said Bishop.

Bishop also pointed out that Australian skipper Pat Cummins, who was injury-prone as a youngster, struggled to deal with the stress of the game on his body. But over the years, he managed to build for himself an impressive career after years of working on his body and changing his technique. The former bowler said that it would be great if Mayank gets the same input that Cummins once had in his career, be it through LSG or the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

“Pat Cummins is a very good example of someone who came in as a teenager, and found that the stresses of the game were too much for his particular technique and his body. He had to come out, rehabilitate, make himself different technically, and come back a few years later. And as we’ve found out, Cummins has managed to build an exceptional career, where he has developed into one of the best fast bowlers and captains”, said Bishop.

“It would be a good idea for Mayank at the start of his career to have the input Cummins found he required. Whether it’s Lucknow Super Giants, Mayank’s IPL team, or the BCCI, they can undertake a project — not an experiment, mind you — to say, “This guy is a diamond. Let us see if we can allocate some sort of funding and see where this goes”, he added.

Bishop said that Mayank should be given a personal strength and conditioning trainer for a year, along with some other medical and diet-related staff. In this way, Mayank will be able to give the game a “decade of excellent fast bowling”. He also said that fast bowlers like him should have access to the “right voices,” like he had talks with Malcolm Marshall during the start of his career.

“Mayank will still be playing cricket through this, to be clear; just that this person is attached to him. See how that pans out after a year. You have got the resources for an effort like this.

Whether in the future Mayank plays a lot of red-ball cricket, whether he plays all formats, or whether you keep him as a white-ball option, you will be able to know after a year or two. So it is a worthwhile project, not only for India and LSG, but for the world game. This young kid, who is 21 now, by the time he is 23 or 24, when his body has matured, he can give you almost a decade of excellent fast bowling. That is one thing I would like to see happen”.

“Alongside the physical development, it is also imperative that young fast bowlers like Mayank get to hear the right voices. I came through at a time when the great Malcolm Marshall was around. While I thought Marshall was one of the greatest tactical fast bowlers that I interacted with, I could only talk with him when we were on the field together or when we were in the dressing room together. Had I been able to access his insights more often, and while I was younger, it would have expedited my learning curve. I do not doubt that”, he added.

Bishop said that Indian pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah should be made to interact with upcoming pace bowlers since he is a clear thinker and great communicator. He said that Bumrah could do some formal Zoom sessions with young pacers on bowling plans, preparations, variations, pace, lengths, etc.

“I get a little frustrated that icons like, say, Jasprit Bumrah, are not made to interact frequently with young fast men. When we hear Bumrah speak, we know that he understands the game. He is clear in his thinking and he is a great communicator. For the next generation, the Under-19 guys, and even for those who are playing alongside him, you could organise some formal Zoom meetings and have him share his wisdom with them. Bumrah does not have to fly everywhere; just utilise technology”, said Bishop.

“Let him talk through formal bowling plans, preparation, and what he would do in certain situations. Let him talk through variations in pace and lengths, and how he sees the game. Expedite that learning curve. It does not have to be something that happens every month – half-yearly or quarter-yearly should work. And I can tell you that would not hurt anyone”.

“It is like going to university, where you have guys who have been there and have done it before. MS Dhoni is a similar example. Excellent captain. If you want to bring in your next generation of leaders, why not tap into his expertise? I am not saying that these two gentlemen are the only people to talk to, but you get the drift”, he concluded.

Bishop said that he always picked up things from talking to Wasim Akram, Malcolm Marshall, Michael Holding, etc., and he called them the “university of fast bowling.” He said that Kartik Tyagi could talk to Bumrah after an IPL match for five minutes. He said that he thought that Tyagi was someone who could have pushed on, but he had injuries to deal with.

“You do not have to tell a guy what to do right. But I can tell a guy what not to do because I have made the same mistake. I can tell him what to do to avoid that. We do not have to leave a lot of these things up to players finding out through trial and error”.

“Let us not only leave these things to playing a lot of first-class cricket and learning as you go but let us supplement it from the outside as well. Let them play, but also let us help them with knowledge. It is time to start being a little bit more precise and determined in our development of players, especially if you have the resources for it”, he concluded. (ANI)

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