cricket:image:1427546 [900x506]
cricket:image:1427546 [900x506] (Credit: BCCI)

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For a moment, no one quite knew where the ball was.

Mayank Yadav had just clean-bowled Cameron Green. The ball clipped the stumps and flew over wicketkeeper KL Rahul's head to the boundary.

You couldn't have faulted anyone for being swept off their feet by the visceral thrill of watching a raw fast bowler bounding in, gold chain gleaming and bouncing from side to side under the lights, with just pace, and nothing else, on his mind.

He had just left Green, nearly six-and-a-half feet tall and expected to have undergone a trial by pace and bounce many times over as part of his cricketing initiation in Western Australia's famed WACA ground, jittery. His feet movement told you so. Mayank had beaten him twice with the short ball, clocked at 156.8kph and 155.6kph respectively.

The one that got him was bowled at 146.2kph. But the skid off the pitch made it appear quicker. Green made no effort to get behind the line; he stayed leg side of the ball and offered a tentative prod to a delivery veering into the stumps. He had been beaten by pace, neck and crop; it didn't matter if he had played down the wrong line.

It was as if the bails flying off was a siren ringing loud for Royal Challengers Bengaluru.

Only a ball earlier, Green had flat-batted Mayank's attempted short ball to the boundary with the ball bursting through Deepak Hooda's hands at mid-on. When you are that quick like Mayank was, you can get carried away.

While he seemed momentarily disappointed - he threw his hands up and looked skywards - he was calm amid the chaos he was causing once back to his run-up, trusting himself to trouble the batter once again. As it turned out, he had to wait all of one delivery. It was a thrilling sight.

What could you have possibly said of Mayank that you didn't the other night? Many things.

What you could not was that the speed gun was faulty. And that his sensational debut spell in Lucknow was a one-off. You could see the pace and fire. The crowd, loud and often unabashed in their support for RCB, had been silenced. It can take a lot out of you to silence them, but Mayank had just made it seem like child's play.

This dream delivery was the sequel to a thunderbolt that felled another Australian, a maverick no less.

Only Glenn Maxwell can tell if it was an ego thing. You wondered how much of his attempt to pull Mayank was down to him trying to stamp his authority over a rookie and tell him: "I'm Glenn Maxwell and the crowd's here to watch me." But the 153.7kph thunderbolt left him short-changed by a few milliseconds. Cramped for room, all Maxwell could do was spoon one high off the bat to Nicholas Pooran at mid-on.

You could see that very moment - even without the speed gun influencing you - why there has been so much talk and attention around the 21-year-old. He was unlikely to escape attention bowling thunderbolts north of 150kph anyway. But he has shown over the course of his first two IPL games how he can marry that pace with accuracy - he didn't bowl a single wide on Tuesday.

It wasn't like RCB were caught off guard. Mahipal Lomror, one of their best batters on the night, touched upon the team having made plans for him prior to the game. The idea was to use his pace and access areas behind square, and not to attack him in front of it.

Maxwell did. Green did, to an extent. Rajat Patidar, Mayank's third wicket of the night, certainly did in trying to play a release shot. Hitting a 150kph bowler in front of square can be challenging enough; it can perhaps be even more so when you are trying to fetch it from head height outside off.

Mayank's spell of 4-0-14-3 earned him a second straight Player-of-the-Match award. It left you in awe as much for his pace as it did for the intrigue of what is to come. Sure enough, Mayank would be made aware of the pitfalls of stardom, if he has not been already. He only needs to look at Umran Malik from a couple of years ago.

Umran's has been a story of what could have been. But he is still young and could yet revive a career that has seemingly hit a rough patch at the moment. At 21, Mayank has already seen injuries rob him of a season, but there is a demeanour to him that points to oodles of maturity and understanding of his body.

His rise to stardom has been as quick as his thunderbolts. He, and Indian cricket, will be dearly hoping the trajectory continues to curve upwards.