Cometh the hour, Cometh the man

By Real11 - Apr 8 2024 161 Views

Yash Thakur grabs the opportunity with both hands

This Ind T20 League has been a lot about Mayank Yadav grabbing the headlines with his express pace and threatening hard lengths. But on Sunday in the game against 2022 champions Gujarat, not only was he surprisingly introduced inside the powerplay but also ended up giving a few boundaries while rarely touching the 140 km/hr mark. He hobbled off the field with a side strain and concluded up bowling only that one over. 

 Lucknow needed a new hero and stepped in Yash Thakur who wasted little time in seizing the opportunity. The 25 year old picked his maiden fifer to power his side to victory. 

Thakur may not be that threatening when it comes to pace but his ability to deceive batters with his clever change ups is impressive. The Vidarbha pacer is probably the support cast in this bowling prowess with Manyank being the point man but Thakur didn’t seem to be bothered at being the restrained resource. 

"Once Mayank went, Rahul sir told me that this could be my day and that I could win the game for the side. He told me to back myself and told me to back the controllables instead of worrying about what I can't control," said Thakur at the post-match press conference.

"Very few can bowl at the speeds that he (Mayank) does, it is a God-given gift. I know my limitations and my strengths. I just back my strengths.

"My focus this season is to have clarity in my plans. I've tried to keep things simple instead of thinking too many things at a time. I've tried to only focus on the things that I can control."

Since their inaugural season in 2022, Lucknow has been recognised for its ability to defend totals, even when they aren’t too steep. Kl Rahul’s troops had gotten to 163 batting first, which seemed 10-15 runs short of a winning score on what was a sporting deck at the Ekana Cricket Stadium. When Gujarat got off to a brisk start in the Powerplay , the pressure was mounting for the hosts whose fightback began with Thakur going through Shubman Gill’s defence in the sixth over. This triggered a batting collapse from which the visitors could never recover.  

"We felt that the pitch was on the slower side and possibly getting slower through the game. We discussed our plans and the idea was to stick to it even if runs were being scored off it. We were getting success from our variations and his (Rahul) advice was to persist with it," Thakur said.

Thakur didn’t enjoy the best of starts to the 2024 season as he was taken to the cleaners by the pair of Riyan Parag and Sanju Samson in Jaipur. Also there was a certain level of ineptness in his bowling for which he was punished through an expensive spell. Thus, he sat out the next game against Punjab which marked Mayank’s debut, but has since been included in the playing eleven in the next two fixtures. We saw a glimpse of what Thakur is actually capable of in the match against Bengaluru in Chinnaswamy and the clash against Gujarat proved his credentials as a quality bowler. 

Lucknow’s lot of domestic pacers is the envy of all the other franchises in the Indian T20 League. After the success of the pace duo of Avesh Khan and Mohsin Khan, it is now Yash Thakur and Mayank Yadav’s time to shine. Bear in mind that they have Yudhvir Singh Charak, Arshad Khan and Arshin Kulkarni in the squad

 Given the group of domestic pacers in the squad, Thakur is aware of the competition. Given that Mohsin is not away from full recovery, the struggle is set to get to another level. However, Thakur seemed at ease in his reply when asked about the possibility of being in and out of the side despite impressive performances. 

"When the tournament started, I played the first game. What the captain and coach feels regarding the best possible combination is what it is. They'd know what is best for the team. So it doesn't matter if I'm playing or someone else is in my place. Eventually, the team must win games and the tournament. So the most suitable XI must play.

"I don't take the pressure of expectations as a concern. Rather I'm happy when people outside or my team expects me to win games. I enjoy this responsibility of winning games for the team.

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