India vs Australia: MSK Prasad reveals the reason behind Mayank Markande’s selection
Markande was selected on the same day when he picked a five-wicket haul against England Lions.
Updated - Feb 16, 2019 10:04 am
The MSK Prasad-led selection panel sprung quite a handful of surprises when they announced the squad for the upcoming T20I and ODI series against Australia. The selectors raised quite a lot of eyebrows by dropping Dinesh Karthik from India’s last series before the all-important World Cup. It was a huge surprise given that the Tamil Nadu star was being groomed as the finisher for quite some time now. In his place, young Rishabh Pant got the chance in ODIs.
Another surprising decision was the inclusion of young leg-spinner Mayank Markande in the team. The Punjab spinner earned his maiden international call-up as he was picked in the T20I squad. Markande has done very well since impressing for Mumbai Indians in the last Indian Premier League (IPL). He finished his maiden season in the IPL with an impressive 15 wickets which made him earn his maiden call-up from India A side.
He was recently a part of the team that played one-day games and unofficial Tests against England Lions. The 21-year old picked two wickets in the first and followed up with three scalps more in the second match. He then impressed in the second unofficial Test, picking up a five-wicket haul as India A thrashed England Lions by an innings and 68 runs and seal the series 1-0.
Markande as a backup spinner
The recent performances have made it very clear that Markande has the talent to thrive at the highest stage of the game. However, the popular perception is that the selectors have included the youngster in the team very very quickly. Moreover, India is not even in dire need of a spinner at the moment with Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav doing a sell job in limited-overs cricket.
Well, MSK Prasad has now explained the rationale behind selecting the leggie. The former India wicketkeeper said that Markande is being seen as the backup spinner, saying, “We are looking at Markande as a backup spinner. We have been grooming him though India A process and today also he picked up a five-wicket haul. So, we want to look at him and he’ll be a backup spinner.”