IND vs SL 2022-23: 'Hoping to get a game, perform and be a regular for India' - Shivam Mavi after T20I call-up
IND vs SL 2022-23: Shivam Mavi has been the latest to receive his maiden call-up for Team India. He is hoping to play a T20I against Sri Lanka and make an impact to become a regular with the side.
Having overcome his fair share of injuries and done the hard yards in domestic cricket, all Shivam Mavi wants from India skipper Hardik Pandya is an opportunity to shine in the upcoming home series against Sri Lanka. A week after being snapped by reigning Indian Premier League (IPL) champion Gujarat Titans (GT) for a whopping ₹6 crore in the IPL mini-auction, Mavi celebrated another big moment of his career. He was selected in India's Twenty20 International (T20I) squad for the upcoming three T20Is against Sri Lanka, starting January 3 in Mumbai. The 24-year-old is supremely confident that he won't let Hardik down.
"Hardik Pandya supports every player. He is a great leader. It isn't easy to be the IPL champion in the first outing, but he managed to do it. He led Gujarat Titans from the front and became champions. He is a calm leader but took some bold decisions," the 24-year-old Mavi told PTI in an exclusive interview.
"As a captain, Hardik bhai is very wise and a master tactician. He knows exactly whom to bowl when and whom to promote in the batting order. I know it will not be easy for me, but I am hoping to get a game, perform there and be a regular for India," added Mavi.
But, the journey to the national team was challenging for Mavi after a tough 2022 IPL season with former two-time champion Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), where he took only five wickets in six games at an economy rate of 10.31 after fetching ₹7.25 crore. He went back to the nets and worked hours on to bring variations in his bowling, especially death bowling skills and included the bouncer and yorker in his repertoire.
The efforts bore fruit as Mavi was influential for Uttar Pradesh across domestic white-ball competitions this year, picking up ten wickets in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 tournament and 14 scalps in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. "I didn't do anything different. I just worked hard in the nets. I know I can generate speed, so I concentrated on bringing variations into my bowling. It paid off as I became more consistent this year," Mavi said.
"A lot of senior players in the Uttar Pradesh team helped me, like Anureet Singh and Parwinder Awana, who is also from Noida. They taught me how to bowl and plan out things," he continued. Mavi, a vital member of victorious India's U-19 World Cup-winning squad in 2018 alongside Shubman Gill and Prithvi Shaw, said a patient approach ultimately paid dividends for him. He also had to deal with injuries at the start of his career.
"It's a great feeling and a proud moment to represent your country. Shubman and Prithvi made their India debuts before me, but I knew it was all about the right time. Every individual has their luck and time," he said. Despite a below-par performance in the last IPL, Mavi was confident of a reasonable price in this year's IPL mini-auction and got the team of his choice.
"Yes, I was expecting something around ₹5 and 6 crore. It is a result of my consistent performance. I have always wanted to be in GT because I have heard that their management is excellent. GT has Hardik bhai and [Ashish] Nehra bhai, the two best game thinkers," Mavi enunciated.
In his formative years, Mavi started as a top-order batter but transformed into a genuine fast bowler under his childhood coach Phoolchand Sharma. "I started as a batter but also used to bowl at nets. But later, I noticed I needed to gain batting skills to become a proper batter. I started to realise after some time that bowling suits me more than batting. Becoming a bowling all-rounder would be a better option for me," stated Mavi, who idolises South African pace great Dale Steyn.
Phoolchand Sharma was understandably ecstatic after Mavi's India call-up. "Shivam came to me when he was ten years old. He started as a batter, but he used to bowl occasionally at the nets and was a very aggressive bowler. He is a fighter and a big-match player. He plays very well under pressure," Sharma said.
(With inputs from PTI)