Engineers have a tendency to learn quickly, says Madhwal
Akash Madhwal took five wickets for as many runs to lead Mumbai Indians to a crushing 81-run win in the second IPL playoff game and knock Lucknow Super Giants out of the tournament on Wednesday.
Madhwal returned figures of 5-5 in 3.3 overs to dismiss Lucknow for 101 as Mumbai booked a meeting with holders and regular season table-toppers Gujarat Titans in the next play-off encounter on Friday in Ahmedabad.
Mumbai Indians (MI) skipper Rohit Sharma lavished praise on Madhwal and said he had full faith in his skillset.
Madhwal, who drew first blood by dismissing Prerak Mankad in his first over, turned the game on its head by dismissing Ayush Badoni and Nicholas Pooran in successive deliveries, allowing Mumbai to set one foot in Qualifier 2. He would then remove Ravi Bishnoi and Mohsin Khan to become the first bowler in IPL history to collect a five-for in the playoffs.
"That is what we have done over the years. People don't expect us to do what we have done, but we managed to," a pleased Rohit said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
"He (Akash) was the part of the team last year as a support bowler, and once Jofra (Archer) was gone and I knew he had skills and the character to do the job for us," Mumbai skipper added.
An engineer by profession, Madhwal learned the game while playing tennis-ball cricket in the north Indian state of Uttarakhand but is filling in for Mumbai's injured pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah.
Madhwal made light-hearted comments about practising his game while studying engineering during post-match presentation.
"I was just practising, and waiting for this opportunity. I did my engineering, and played tennis-ball cricket since it was my passion. Engineers have a tendency to learn quickly," he said.
"I just practice, and that is what we execute. I'm proud of myself, but I'll try to be better," added Madhwal.
The 29-year-old also was quick to brush off comparisons with India and MI pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah, who has been out of action since September last year due to a dodgy back.
"Bumrah bhai (brother) has his own place, and I'm just trying to play the role assigned to me," said the 29-year-old Madhwal.