“I was speechless after India call-up”, says fast bowler turned spinner Mayank Markande

NEW DELHI: A fast bowler by choice and a spinner by chance. Mayank Markande’s cricketing journey is already quite fascinating. And he’s just 21 years old.
Mayank was 13 when he met former domestic cricketer Munish Bali at a cricket ground in Baradari (Patiala). Bali, who also served as assistant coach of the victorious Indian Under-19 World Cup winning team, led by Virat Kohli in 2008, asked Mayank to come for a trial. At that time Mayank was gearing up to become a fast bowler.
“Mayank, you don’t have the physique to become a fast bowler. You don’t have much energy in your arms,” Mayank said while recalling Bali’s words during an exclusive interview with Timesofindia.com.
“Bali sir asked me start bowling spin, as I didn’t have much power in my arms. I wanted to become a fast bowler but Bali sir’s advice changed my life,” Mayank said.
Embed-1-1802Mayank’s coach Munish Bali (left)
Mayank’s strength was his ability to bowl back-of-the-hand deliveries. Bali spotted the magic in one go and decided to convince Mayank to become a leg-spinner.
“Mayank’s wrist was very strong. If you have a strong wrist and you are a leg-spinner, you can do wonders. When he bowled back-of-the-hand deliveries, I observed him closely. He was raw talent at that time. I thought it was the right time to groom the kid,” Bali told Timesofindia.com.
“There was a dearth of leg-spinners. So, I managed to convince and encourage Mayank to bowl leg-spin. I didn’t force him. I just told him what his strengths and weaknesses were. He listened to what I had to say and the result is in front of us,” Bali said.
Embed-2-1802(Munish Bali during a training session)
“This guy has lot of potential and his hard work will take him a long way,” Bali added.
Mayank’s father Bikram Sharma once had major concerns about his son’s future. And he spoke to Bali about them.
“When Mayank completed his class 10 education, his father came to meet me. His father asked me ‘do you think my son can become a cricketer, or should I ask him to focus on academics and opt for a medical or engineering profession’? I smiled and replied ‘Let him focus on cricket, he will be a successful cricketer one day’,” Bali told TimesofIndia.com.