An IPL find, Markande, part of India’s under-19 squad in 2016, has made rapid strides in domestic cricket and his selection in the T20I squad comes on the back of some consistent performances over the past one year.
An IPL find, Markande, part of India’s under-19 squad in 2016, has made rapid strides in domestic cricket and his selection in the T20I squad comes on the back of some consistent performances over the past one year.

Punjab leg spinner Mayank Markande was the surprise inclusion in India’s T20I squad for the two-match series against Australia starting February 24 and the 21-year-old celebrated his maiden India call-up in style with a 5/34 against England Lions as India A won the 2nd unofficial Test at Mysore by an innings and 68 runs on Friday.

An IPL find, Markande, part of India’s under-19 squad in 2016, has made rapid strides in domestic cricket and his selection in the T20I squad comes on the back of some consistent performances over the past one year.

Here’s a bit more about the Bhatinda-born tweaker, who started out as a fast bowler:  

It was in the 2017-18 season that Markande made his presence felt with five wickets in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy at an average of 23.80, followed by ten wickets in the Vijay Hazare Trophy.  

Not head-turning numbers, but it caught the eye of the IPL franchise Mumbai Indians’ then team manager, Rahul Sanghvi – a former India international and left-arm spinner himself. While Markande was playing an U-23 match, he was snapped up by MI for a base price for Rs 20 Lakh late into the auction soon after.  

And when MI handed him a surprise debut in the their first match of the 2018 IPL, against Chennai Super Kings, it literally caught everybody by surprise. Nobody knew anything about him. And to make matters worse for the scribes, the leg spinner bamboozled the likes of Ambati Rayudu and MS Dhoni, to return with a debut effort of 3/23 in four overs.

Markande became a household name after that and went on to finish the season for MI with 15 wickets in 14 matches bowling at an economy of 8.36 and an average of 17.60.

He continued the good form finishing as the highest wicket-taker for Punjab in the Vijay Hazare Trophy with 13 scalps at 21.07.

That opened the doors for him and he seize the opportunity with consistent performances. He played his first first-class season for Punjab in the Ranji Trophy 2018-19 returning rather impressive haul of 29 wickets – the most for Punjab – in six matches at 23.34.

In between he was part of the India Emerging Players squad for the Asian Cricket Council Emerging Teams Cup 2018/19. He finished the tournament with 12 wickets, again the most in the tournament with a best of 4/38.

Markande was named in the India A squad for the England Lions squad, playing both the List A games returning 2/45 and 3/32 in wins for his team. before coming up with a five-wicket haul in the 2nd unofficial Test.