Mumbai Indians’ remarkable come-from-behind streak of results has relaunched it into familiar territory. Following its 81-run annihilation of Lucknow Super Giants in the Eliminator, Rohit Sharma’s side is within striking distance of a seventh IPL final.
While its batting firepower has managed to overcome the bowling shortcomings in the second half of the league stage, the five-time champion has quietly unearthed another talent in right-arm seamer Akash Madhwal.
The new colt from Mumbai’s classic stable of unheralded Indian talent, Madhwal, has romped to the top of the IPL bowling charts with a career-best five for five against LSG at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium here on Wednesday.
On an uncharacteristic Chepauk surface that offered extra bounce, Madhwal’s skiddy lengths and seam movement confounded the batters, helping the 29-year-old equal Anil Kumble’s 14-year record for the best IPL bowling figures (five for five) by an Indian.
Madhwal has also healed Mumbai’s lingering death-overs bowling woes in Jasprit Bumrah’s absence, boasting the best economy rate (7.52) between overs 17 and 20 this season (min. 50 balls bowled).
Madhwal’s graduation from tennis-ball cricket in 2018-19 to Uttarakhand’s limited-overs captain in the 2022-23 season has coincided with IPL net-bowling stints, first with Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2019.
Late into the 2022 IPL season, MI’s far-sighted management zeroed in on Madhwal as a replacement signing for an injured Suryakumar Yadav at his base price of ₹20 lakh. With 13 wickets from seven matches, Madhwal has reaffirmed the might of MI’s scouting secret sauce.