Akash Madhwal deserves all credit for taking Mumbai Indians to Qualifier: Irfan Pathan
Chennai, Tamil Nadu: Rohit Sharma-led Mumbai Indians stormed into the Qualifier 2 of IPL 2023 by knocking Lucknow Super Giants in a largely one-sided encounter at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Wednesday.
The five-time IPL champions ticked off all the boxes in the key contest to set up a clash with defending champions Gujarat Titans. The winner of the encounter will take on Chennai Super Kings in the IPL final in Ahmedabad on May 28.
After their batters chipped in with valuable contributions to guide MI to an above-par 181-8 on spin-friendly Chepauk track, uncapped India pacer Akash Madhwal ran-riot through LSG batters and return with best figures of 5-5.
Former India cricketer Irfan Pathan lavished praise upon the Uttarakhand seamer for putting up such a show in a high-stakes encounter.
Speaking on Start Sports' Cricket Live, Irfan said, "We have never seen an uncapped player dominate in a high-pressure game. Akash Madhwal has picked up 9 wickets in the last two games. He deserves all the credit for taking MI to the Qualifier."
Former India cricketer Mohammed Kaif lauded the right-arm quick for his mastery over his craft and control over the cricket ball.
"Akash Madhwal bowls hard length. His bowling style resembles Mohd Shami and gets the zip off the surface. What a player he has been for Mumbai Indians lately. He's looked like a matured bowler with every game he's played."
Madhwal - who polished his bowling skills with tennis-ball cricket - garnered also praise from former India cricketer Ravi Shastri for bowling hard length and being a street-smart cricketer in the big game.
"Madhwal applied himself in this game brilliantly, he bowled beautifully and bowled the hard length on a slow Chepauk track. He also has a good cutter. Tennis ball cricketers are very street smart and Madhwal has shown that skill on the big stage. He's a young bowler and a quick learner. It was another superb effort from this young talent," Shastri said.
MI's batting mainstay Suryakumar Yadav played another vital knock in a big encounter. SKY gauged the pitch conditions well on a challenging Chepauk surface.
Hailing SKY for the array of shots in his batting arsenal, former India cricketer Harbhajan Singh stated no other batter in the world has a better hitting range than Suryakumar Yadav.
"I can say with confidence that no other batsman in the world has the range and variety of Surya. The way Surya came back with a bang after failing in the initial matches proves how mentally strong he is as a player."