Madhawal was drafted into the Mumbai Indians squad last year as a replacement for Suryakumar Yadav and has now become Rohit Sharma’s go-to bowler, be it with the new ball or in the death overs.
Pratyush Raj. Akash Madhwal used to play tennis ball cricket in Uttarakhand and western Uttar Pradesh till four years ago. When he took part in the trial in 2019, he got the attention of then Uttarakhand coach Wasim Jaffer and current coach Manish Jha. Star wicketkeeper from Team India and neighbor of Delhi Capitals captain Rishabh Pant, Akash did not play with the red ball till the age of 24. Now he is the first cricketer from the Uttarakhand state cricket team to play in the Indian Premier League (IPL). Star fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah seems to be filling the gap by bowling with the new and old ball in Mumbai Indians (MI).
Uttarakhand head coach Manish Jha told The Indian Express, “When he came for the trials in 2019, we were all very impressed. His action is very smooth and he bowls fast. He had the X-factor. Wasim Bhai selected him and gave him a chance in Syed Mushtaq Ali’s match against Karnataka. He looked less prepared. Next year when Ranji Trophy got canceled during Covid and I took over as head coach, I told him that he will play all three formats even if he goes for runs. I assured him that he will get a chance to play all the matches.
Jha further added, “Since he played a lot of tennis ball cricket, he had pace but lacked accuracy. He used to experiment a lot with his bowling. My only concern was if you can bowl fast and straight then why are you bowling slow. Slowly they understood what we were trying to tell them and you can see the results.”
Was included in the team in place of Suryakumar Yadav
Madhwal was drafted into the Mumbai Indians squad last year as a replacement for Suryakumar Yadav due to injury and has now become Rohit Sharma’s go-to bowler, be it with the new ball or in the death overs. Last week, he showed his prowess with the new ball by taking the wickets of Wriddhiman Saha, Shubman Gill and David Miller against defending champions Gujarat Titans. In a do or die match on Sunday, he gave Mumbai Indians the breakthrough in the death overs. It seemed that the Sunrisers Hyderabad team would score more than 220. After this he returned to Mumbai.
Superb bowling against Sunrisers Hyderabad
The 29-year-old Madhwal first broke the 140-run opening partnership between Vivrant Sharma and Mayank Agarwal. In his next over, he dismissed Agarwal. Superb bowling in his last over. After dismissing the in-form Heinrich Klaasen, he took the wicket of Harry Brook on a yorker.
Captain of Uttarakhand white-ball team
Madhwal was named captain of the Uttarakhand white-ball team ahead of this year’s domestic season. It tells how much he has improved in a short period of time. Manish Jha said, “All athletes are hardworking, but the difference is in temperament. Last year, when I made him the white-ball captain, he did a great job from the front. In IPL you can see that he is ready to bowl with the new ball. He used the new ball exceptionally well in the death against Gujarat Titans and now against Sunrisers. It is great to see him doing well in the IPL. He will become a role model for the youth of Uttarakhand.”
Rishabh Pant’s neighbor
Madhwal, a resident of Dhandera in Roorkee, is Rishabh Pant’s neighbor and completed his engineering before showing keen interest in cricket. He learned the tricks of cricket under Avtar Singh who trained Pant before moving to Delhi. The avatar said, “Aakash’s house is in front of Rishabh’s. They are neighbors. Rishabh has played under me before going to Delhi for training under Late Tarak Sinha Sir.
used to play cricket as a hobby
Madhwal’s father was in the army and died in an accident in 2013. Avtar Singh said, “Madhwal was focusing on his education. Was doing engineering and used to play cricket only as a hobby. Since Uttarakhand was not playing in the Ranji Trophy, his main focus was on tennis ball cricket. His tuti used to speak in tennis ball cricket tournament.