Mayank Markande was one of the surprise additions in the Indian cricket squad which was picked for the series against Australia, so much so that he admitted that he ‘did not expect’ a call into the side for the two Twenty20 Internationals which will be played in Vizag and Bengaluru on February 24 and February 27. Speaking to the Indian Express, Markande said the call-up for the India side was a fulfillment of the dream his father had. “I am happy it came on a day when I took five wickets against England Lions. The Emerging teams Asia Cup also helped my confidence as wickets were slow in Sri Lanka and I tried more variations in the second innings, which helped me. I’ve been working on my leg-spin since the last one year and rewards have come in form of wickets. My father never represented India due to his injury and I am happy that I will represent India and realise his dream,” Markande said.
Markande will be the third spinner in the Indian side in addition to fellow legspinner Yuzvendra Chahal and Krunal Pandya. The inclusion in the India team is just reward for Markande, who impressed for Mumbai Indians in the 2018 Indian Premier League. In 14 games, he took 15 wickets at a strike-rate of 17 and an economy rate of 8.36. More success followed for Markande in the Asian Cricket Council Emerging Teams Cup. The right-armer picked up 4/38 against Pakistan as India won by seven wickets.
In the Ranji Trophy, playing for Punjab, Markande had a fantastic start by taking 6/84 against Hyderabad but it was his showing against the England Lions in the recent series that caught the attention of the selectors. He took five wickets in two games and in the four-day game, Markande picked up 5/31 as India A won by an innings against England Lions to complete a dominant series.
Australia recently lost the ODI series against India at home for the first time 1-2. On the other hand, Virat Kohli is back in the Indian team and he will be determined to continue the winning run of the side as the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 comes near.