Akash Madhwal has made quite an entrance for himself in the IPL 2023. It wasn’t too long ago when Akash was doing rounds of Uttarakhand’s tennis-ball cricket circuit. He is now one of Rohit Sharma’s most lethal weapons. Mumbai Indians defeated Lucknow Super Giants in Chennai during the 2023 Indian Premier League Eliminator to book a place for Qualifier 2. Mumbai’s dominance was powered by a number of their star players such as Cameron Green, Suryakumar Yadav, and Tilak Varma but they were nothing in front of Akash Madhwal’s fiery spell.
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It was his seventh game of the season, and it wasn’t the first time he took a significant number of wickets in a game either. His 5/5 spell shattered the record for best bowling figures in an IPL playoff game. Doug Bollinger was holding the record for his 4/13 for CSK against Deccan Chargers in the 2010 season. It was also the best bowling figure for an uncapped player. Akash broke the record of Ankit Rajpoot (5/14 for Kings XI Punjab vs SRH, Hyderabad 2018). Finally, it was the joint fourth-best figure for any bowler in an IPL game. The man whose record he equaled was Indian spin merchant and former captain Anil Kumble.
Akash Madhwal’s career
Madhwal gave up his regular job as an engineer to pursue cricket professionally. He earned his stripes in Uttarakhand’s tennis-ball cricket circuit. Any other delivery other than a yorker has the potential to be hit for runs in tennis ball cricket. As he graduated to more serious cricket levels, his love for bowling the Yorker stayed. His journey to the highest level started in 2018. He joined the Uttarakhand domestic team after the state cricket association received full membership from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
Madhwal played 10 first-class games for Uttarakhand and took 12 wickets in them. He has also played 17 List A games and taken 18 wickets. In T20s, he has now played a total of 29 games and taken 37 wickets. He was first taken in by RCB as a net bowler in 2019. Then he got brought in by MI for the same role. Madhwal then managed to get a chance with the first team in the latter stages of the 2022 season, which was a forgettable one for MI. Eventually, his performance was recognised at the domestic level when he was made captain of the Uttarakhand T20 team.
Performances in the IPL 2023
With both star pacers being sidelined by injuries, Akash Madhwal started with figures of 0/37 in his first game of the season against the Punjab Kings. In the next match against CSK, he bowled just one over, gave away just four runs, and took the wicket of the dangerous Devon Conway. His first burst out was the three-wicket haul he got in his next game against the Gujarat Titans as MI beat the defending champions and this season’s finalist by 27 runs. His wickets were Wriddhiman Saha, Shubman Gill, and David Miller. He then got 4 wickets against Sunrisers Hyderabad. In Eliminator, it was all Akash Madhwal who ruled.