The Mumbai Indians’ bowling attack looked mediocre after a couple of their first-choice pacers like Jasprit Bumrah and Jofra Archer were ruled out after injuries. But the youngsters in the squad have stepped up for MI and are doing their job brilliantly and one such find amongst them is Akash Madhwal. The 29-year-old pacer grabbed attention from all over the world when he displayed a match-winning performance against Lucknow Super Giants in the Eliminator of the IPL 2023.
MI set up a par total of 182 on a skiddy pitch at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. After that, it was all up to the bowlers to defend the total and make sure that their team stays in contention. Akash Madhwal struck gold in just the second over of the game as he dismissed LSG opener Prerak Mankad by bowling a dipping delivery outside off. After that, the MI pacer never looked back and kept the LSG batters under pressure.
Madhwal also ended up getting the crucial wicket of the destructive Nicholas Pooran and Ayush Badoni. However, Madhwal did not get a chance to complete his four overs as LSG were bowled out when he was halfway through his final over. He ended up with record-breaking figures of 5/5 and bowled 17 dot balls, becoming the first bowler to grab a fifer in the IPL playoffs history and also had the best figures by an uncapped bowler in the IPL history.
Speaking after the game, the right-arm pacer said, "I am trying my best to fulfill the responsibilities given to me by the team. I am not Bumrah’s replacement but I’m trying my best to do what I can." He also said that he is ‘very chilled out’ and enjoying it as he is following his passion. " The wicket at Chepauk was good. As you saw, the ball was not gripping but skidding. I am a swing/sling bowler, and I pitched my deliveries in hard lengths aiming for wickets," added Madhwal
The Mumbai Indians will now face defending champions Gujarat Titans in Qualifier-2 of the IPL 2023 on Friday at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. Winning this high-pressure game will book them a slot for the final against MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings.