Royal Challengers Bangalore or RCB face off with Mumbai Indians (MI) at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on March 28. Both the teams will be looking to post their first win in the tournament after losing their respective opening matches earlier.
Mumbai Indians got a scare in the loss against Delhi Capitals after their main strike bowler Jasprit Bumrah walked off the field with a shoulder injury. He is cleared to play the match on Thursday at Bengaluru and he will pose the biggest threat to an inconsistent RCB batting line-up.
But RCB have planned a masterstroke to counter Bumrah’s threatening yorkers. They have roped in the services of ‘Junior Bumrah’, a net bowler who has a similar bowling action to that of the Mumbai Indian medium-pacer.
Meet 22-year-old Mahesh Kumar, whose services RCB have hired for all their home games at Bengaluru so that their batting line-up can get used to the bowling of Jasprit Bumrah.
Mahesh even bowled as a net bowler for Australia when they were in India for the limited-overs series. And Australia won both the T20I and ODI series against India.
Mahesh became popular with his uncanny similarity in the bowling action with Bumrah. And he has been invited as a chief guest in the college he did his graduation in engineering after a chance meeting with the original yorker specialist and an Instagram story on him that went viral.
Mahesh is from Doddaballapura (a small town on the outskirts of Bengaluru) and travels four hours (both ways) to bowl at the nets in RCB’s practice session.
He was quoted as saying that his four-hours journey is worth it and his calling is cricket after fulfilling his father’s dream of getting a degree.
Although Mahesh has not yet made it to any professional level, he is on the lookout for a club in Bengaluru’s first-division league.