Indian cricketer Shivam Mavi's journey: Batman to super bowler

Updated: Jan 27, 2018, 11:10 IST | Gaurav Joshi | Queenstown

Three years ago, Shivam Mavi sat inside his Noida home with his left leg resting on the sofa, thinking if he would still be able to rattle batsmen in Delhi cricket with his lightening pace

Shivam Mavi
Shivam Mavi

Three years ago, Shivam Mavi sat inside his Noida home with his left leg resting on the sofa, thinking if he would still be able to rattle batsmen in Delhi cricket with his lightening pace. Mavi had injured his ACL and the thought of not playing cricket for a substantial period of time left him devastated. "Sitting at home was extremely frustrating. I was playing regularly and suddenly there was a stop and my mind was full of all negative thoughts. I may have even bowled quicker now had I not got injured — even around 147-148kmh," India's under-19 star bowler told mid-day before a World Cup training session in Queenstown.

Prithvi Shaw's Indians take on Bangladesh in the quarter-finals here today. Hailing from Sina, a small village near Meerut, Shivam's father, Pankaj shifted his family to Noida for better education, but slowly they realised their son's passion and dedication for cricket. "I used to only bat when I started off. I was randomly bowling in the nets when my coach (Phoolchand Sharma) saw me. I started liking it." Sharma told mid-day that it was Mavi's smooth run-up along with his aggressive mindset that convinced him to advice the then nine-year-old Mavi to focus on his bowling.

By the time Mavi turned 14, he was already a tearaway quick, hitting batsmen on the head on the flat dusty pitches of Delhi. "Delhi has a lot of good players, and there are flat wickets, but I just wanted to bowl fast. "I remember once a bouncer hit a batsman's helmet and then everyone was backing away from my bowling," Mavi recalled.

But even from his young age Mavi was aware that pace alone was not enough and he had to have additional strings to his bow. "I used to be an out-swing specialist, but I became an in-swing bowler after my injury. My body started falling towards one side, so I started working on that and worked on inswing. Now, it comes out naturally." he said.

Mavi also attributed his success to India U-19's strength and conditioning coach, Anand Date, who made him stronger by getting him follow an ideal fitness regime. "I work on my strength and fitness with Anand sir. Even if I am away at home, I stay in touch with him and he tells me how to remain fit and how to train. He knows my strengths so that helps me bowl fast," he said.

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