Kwena Maphaka got a chance in Mumbai Indians replaced by injured Madushanka

Kwena Maphaka

Kwena Maphaka Seventeen-year-old South Africa fast bowler got wild card entry in Mumbai Indians with replacement of Dilshan Madushanka for IPL 2024. The Sri Lanka fast bowler picked up a hamstring injury during a tour of Bangladesh earlier this month and has been ruled out of the entire T20 tournament.

Mumbai had invested a significant sum on Madushanka – INR 4.6 crore (USD 554,000 approx.) and he stood a chance to play in the first XI as a powerplay specialist. Madushanka’s ability to swing the new ball was on show in the ODI World Cup in 2023, where he was the third-highest wicket-taker (21) behind Mohammed Shami (24) and Adam Zampa (23).

Kwena Maphaka is in his final year of school – he goes to the same one as Kagiso Rabada, St Stithians in Johannesburg. He was due to spend his summer holidays with Mumbai and then return home, but those plans have changed and he will instead spend March, April and May with a team that includes fast bowlers like Jasprit Bumrah and coaches like Lasith Malinga.

Kwena Maphaka

Kwena Maphaka was one of the most eye-catching players in the 2024 Under-19 World Cup, taking South Africa to the semi-finals with his haul of 21 wickets from six ODIs at an average of 9.71 and economy rate of 3.81. Nobody has taken more wickets in a single edition of the youth World Cup. The left-arm seamer’s team-mates say he bowls 140 kph and is known for his inswing, which puts him in the same mould as Madushanka.

Mumbai have six other specialist fast bowlers in their squad, although one of them, another potential starter, Gerald Coetzee, is nursing a groin injury. The new captain Hardik Pandya, having announced that he will be fit to bowl again, might well be needed to offer support to the Bumrah-led bowling attack.

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