India maintained their home unblemished record against Sri Lanka with a dramatic two-run victory in the first T20I. Axar Patel defended 12 off the last over as Hardik Pandya and company withstood an attack from Dasun Shanaka and then a scare from Chamika Karunaratne.
For India, there were a number of significant contributions. However, Shivam Mavi‘s single contribution caught everyone’s attention as he blazed through his debut with 4/22.
Mavi’s life has been very eventful during the past 15 days. At the IPL 2023 auction, he was purchased by the defending champion Gujarat Titans for 6 crores, making the Indian the most expensive uncapped pacer signing ever. Mavi was then given his India cap and received his first international call-up.
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A wicket was taken by Mavi in his first over, clean bowling Pathum Nissanka for a cheap score, and he then sent back Dhananjaya de Silva in his second. According to Ajay Jadeja, the fact that he picked up the wicket in both overs after being hit for two straight boundaries says a lot about his confidence.
Ajay Jadeja Impressed By Debutant Shivam Mavi
The former Indian cricketer was especially impressed by Mavi’s perseverance and ability to follow through on his goals and not get under pressure despite going for a few boundaries.
“What was heartening to see that after getting hit for a couple of boundaries, generally a young man playing his first game starts thinking defensively sometimes. And he had a good run. Last month has been good; he has been picked by a captain who is now leading India as well. So he feels wanted.
There are people who have been fighting for him. And here he comes in and picks up 4 wickets in his first game. It’s a day to remember. It’s a debut game; he played a major role. There was 18th over, then there was another… all 4 overs, he has had a wicket,” Jadeja said on Cricbuzz.
Shivam Mavi was expertly moved by Hardik after he claimed two wickets in only two overs. He came back and bowled the 15th and 18th overs, succeeding in both instances. He removed Wanindu Hasaranga, who was starting to pose a threat, and then Maheesh Theekshana’s wicket.
Shivam Mavi Can Be Used Differently: Ajay Jadeja
According to Jadeja, Mavi’s special ability to bowl in various parts of the game might be a deal-breaker and quickly turn the 24-year-old into one of Pandya’s go-to tools in the long term.
“All those 4 wickets have come in different stages of the game, which shows that the captain has the confidence in him to bowl anywhere. And if you can do that, for a captain – for Hardik – that’s an asset because it doesn’t allow the oppositions to plan against you. You can be used differently.
You can have a bad over and still be brought back. All things look good for him. He has got a captain who has made him comfortable here. He will grow as a player,” added Jadeja.