Shane Watson Advises Caution on Fast-tracking Mayank Yadav into Test Cricket

Former Australian cricketer Shane Watson has issued a word of caution to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) regarding the fast-tracking of Lucknow Super Giants‘ pace sensation Mayank Yadav into Test cricket.

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Watson, who has been closely following Yadav’s impressive performances in the ongoing IPL 2024 season, believes that it might not be wise to rush the young bowler into the longer format of the game.

“Obviously, the talk of the town is Mayank Yadav, to be able to see someone of his world-class speed and then also world-class skill on display… Lucknow Super Giants are unbelievably lucky to be able to have him. To be able to perform on the big stage against the best batters in the world and dominate them and blow them away is something very, very special.”

Yadav, a 21-year-old fast bowler, has been making waves in the IPL with his express pace and impressive skills. In his debut match against Punjab Kings, he registered figures of 3/27, including the crucial wicket of Jonny Bairstow. He followed this up with another stellar performance against Royal Challengers Bangalore, where he picked up three wickets for just 14 runs.

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Watson, speaking on JioCinema, praised Yadav’s talent and highlighted the importance of nurturing his skills carefully. He emphasized the challenges that fast bowlers face in Test cricket, especially in terms of the physical demands of bowling long spells on flat wickets. Watson believes that pushing Yadav into Test cricket too soon could risk injury and hinder his development as a player.

“Of course, in a perfect world, you’d love to see him playing Test cricket, but just knowing how challenging it is on your body as a fast bowler, to be able to get your body accustomed and resilient enough to be able to handle bowling at high speed, 15-20 overs a day in a Test match on a flat wicket, right now, I don’t see it necessary to be able to push his body to that limit.

“There’s not too many fast bowlers in the world who come through and are able to bowl at the speed and the control that Mayank does have, so they need to harness that young man’s incredible talent and skill that he’s got. So, by pushing him to play Test cricket right now, I think that’s not wise at all.”

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While acknowledging the allure of Test cricket, Watson suggested that Yadav’s skills could be better utilized in shorter formats like T20Is and ODIs initially. He emphasized the value that Yadav could bring to the Indian team in these formats and suggested that focusing on these formats would allow Yadav to gradually build up his resilience and strength for Test cricket in the future.

“I personally think it’s a waste of Indian cricket, really trying to push him into four-day cricket and Test cricket, knowing the incredible value that he can provide in T20 and one-day cricket for India. I’ve seen it in the past, whether it’s in India or other parts of the world, when everyone gets very excited about a young speedster that comes in, the thought is always, ‘oh, let’s push him to play Test cricket because that’s the ultimate’, and it certainly is, but that does take time”, he said.

“While his body is going to mature and get more resilient, which does take a number of years, then I think just by playing T20 and one-day cricket will gradually build up his resilience. So I’d love to just see him play the shorter formats while he’s just getting used to his body and his body’s building that strength that he does need,” he added.

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Former Australian cricketer Shane Watson has issued a word of caution to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) regarding the fast-tracking of Lucknow Super Giants' pace sensation Mayank Yadav into Test cricket.

Watson, who has been closely following Yadav's impressive performances in the ongoing IPL 2024 season, believes that it might not be wise to rush the young bowler into the longer format of the game.

"Obviously, the talk of the town is Mayank Yadav, to be able to see someone of his world-class speed and then also world-class skill on display... Lucknow Super Giants are unbelievably lucky to be able to have him. To be able to perform on the big stage against the best batters in the world and dominate them and blow them away is something very, very special."

Yadav, a 21-year-old fast bowler, has been making waves in the IPL with his express pace and impressive skills. In his debut match against Punjab Kings, he registered figures of 3/27, including the crucial wicket of Jonny Bairstow. He followed this up with another stellar performance against Royal Challengers Bangalore, where he picked up three wickets for just 14 runs.

Watson, speaking on JioCinema, praised Yadav's talent and highlighted the importance of nurturing his skills carefully. He emphasized the challenges that fast bowlers face in Test cricket, especially in terms of the physical demands of bowling long spells on flat wickets. Watson believes that pushing Yadav into Test cricket too soon could risk injury and hinder his development as a player.

"Of course, in a perfect world, you'd love to see him playing Test cricket, but just knowing how challenging it is on your body as a fast bowler, to be able to get your body accustomed and resilient enough to be able to handle bowling at high speed, 15-20 overs a day in a Test match on a flat wicket, right now, I don't see it necessary to be able to push his body to that limit.

"There's not too many fast bowlers in the world who come through and are able to bowl at the speed and the control that Mayank does have, so they need to harness that young man's incredible talent and skill that he's got. So, by pushing him to play Test cricket right now, I think that's not wise at all."

While acknowledging the allure of Test cricket, Watson suggested that Yadav's skills could be better utilized in shorter formats like T20Is and ODIs initially. He emphasized the value that Yadav could bring to the Indian team in these formats and suggested that focusing on these formats would allow Yadav to gradually build up his resilience and strength for Test cricket in the future.

"I personally think it's a waste of Indian cricket, really trying to push him into four-day cricket and Test cricket, knowing the incredible value that he can provide in T20 and one-day cricket for India. I've seen it in the past, whether it's in India or other parts of the world, when everyone gets very excited about a young speedster that comes in, the thought is always, 'oh, let's push him to play Test cricket because that's the ultimate', and it certainly is, but that does take time", he said.

"While his body is going to mature and get more resilient, which does take a number of years, then I think just by playing T20 and one-day cricket will gradually build up his resilience. So I'd love to just see him play the shorter formats while he's just getting used to his body and his body's building that strength that he does need," he added.

Stay updated with all the cricketing action, follow Cricadium on WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Telegram, and Instagram