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Akash Madhwal in action for Mumbai Indians in IPL 2023© BCCI

It was an Akash Madhwal show at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Wednesday as the young fast bowler picked up five wickets to guide Mumbai Indians to victory over Lucknow Super Giants in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 Eliminator. The figures of 5/5 in 3.3 overs was enough to put him in an elite list comprising massive names like Anil Kumble and Jasprit Bumrah. However, according to a report in Indian Express, Madhwal was playing tennis ball cricket four years ago and had never touched a red ball prior to that.

Madhwal, who studied engineering, became the first cricketer from the state of Uttarakhand to play in the IPL after he was picked by MI in 2022 as a replacement for the injured Suryakumar Yadav.

In 2019, he caught the attention of the then Uttarakhand coach Wasim Jaffer and present coach Manish Jha and that resulted in the fast bowler starting his practice with the red ball.

What followed was a fairytale run for Madhwal in the domestic season and ahead of the 2023 domestic season, the fast bowler was rewarded for his efforts as Uttarakhand named him the white-ball skipper.

The MI bowler also has an interesting connection with India wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant.

Both cricketers hail from the same area in from Uttarakhand and during his formative years, Madhwal also trained under Avtar Singh, the cricket coach who trained Pant before he moved to Delhi.

“He (Akash) was the part of the team last year as a support bowler, and once Jofra was gone and I knew he had skills and the character to do the job for us. Over the years we have seen many guys coming in from Mumbai Indians and playing for India,” MI skipper Rohit Sharma said after the match.

Madhwal will look to continue his growth when MI take on Gujarat Titans in Qualifier 2.

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