Shivam Mavi grabbed eyeballs with his pace during 2018 U19 World Cup. He got picked by Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) as the franchise spent Rs 3 crore for him in the IPL auction.
Mavi revealed Rahul Dravid, India U-19 coach, shared a mantra of success with him. He asked him to stay focus and not to run after money.
"Rahul Sir told us that 'money will keep flowing in but just remember what is it that has helped you earn so much money and focus on that. It's cricket for you. If you give time to cricket then it will give you back, whatever you want.' His words still rings in my ears," Mavi said in an interview.
The 19-year-old is seeing IPL as an opportunity to seal a place in Uttar Pradesh Ranji team. He is yet to play any representative cricket for Uttar Pradesh at the senior level.
"Post IPL, the main focus will be on domestic cricket. I am yet to make my debut in domestic cricket (first-class, List A or T20). IPL is an opportunity to grab limelight if you do well. It becomes easier from here on, if you do well here," Mavi said.
When asked about U-19 World Cup win, the pacer says he wants to live in the present as nobody remembers past. "Given an opportunity, I will focus match by match will take it as a stepping stone. Nobody remembers the past (the U-19 World Cup triumph). It's about staying in the present. Past is past," he said.
Mavi is a fan of Dale Steyn and was lucky to get a glimpse of the South African pacer during a net session at the Kotla.
"He had come to Kotla, I've seen him from distance. I love the way he gets the ball to reverse swing. That's why I follow him a lot. Maza aata hai (It's fun bowling reverse swing). Whatever I have learnt is by watching only. I don't ask much," he said.
Mavi is focusing on keeping his rhythm right, as it automatically increases the pace. "I don't focus much on pace. The main accent is on the rhythm. Once you get your rhythm right, you can generate pace. Rahul Sir said focus on bringing consistency in line and length."
He credited Anant Date's name for a boost in his bowling speed. He had worked with strength and conditioning specialist Anant at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore. "It was just before England's India tour (January last year). He worked on our weakness, like core, strengthening work. It helped in generating pace," he says.
The young pacer will share dressing room with stalwarts like Mitchell Starc and Mitchell Johnson for KKR. "I will try to learn a lot from them. It will obviously help me," he said. "I am looking forward to play my first match. There will be pressure. It's natural and comes to everyone. It's about controlling them. When nervous, I just look at what the batsman does. I just look in front - at the square, and not beyond."
Mavi started his career as a spinner initially. But then one day at his coaching camp, his coach Phool Chand Sharma found that there was a bowler short at the nets and asked Mavi to bowl medium pace. "I was generating enough pace. Sir told me to become a bowling all-rounder as I will have an advantage with double skill sets. Then I started working on my bowling."
Mavi claimed that he became a victim of 'selection politics' as he was not picked for Delhi U-15. "I was the highest wicket-taker in the U-14s but despite that Delhi did not select me. We then moved to UP," he said about shifting base to Greater Noida.