When the T20I lineup for India’s series against Sri Lanka was announced last month, most predictions were met. While Rohit Sharma was recovering from a thumb injury, Hardik Pandya served as the captain. While Virat Kohli was napping, Jasprit Bumrah and Ravindra Jadeja had also taken a break. Suryakumar Yadav was elevated to vice-captain, while Harshal Patel made a comeback. Overall fewer misses and more hits. However, the squad was unprepared for the fast bowlers Mukesh Kumar and Shivam Mavi. Both players had a memorable IPL 2022 auction that brought in substantial money after years of competition in the local circuit, but the subsequent event was far more pleasurable.

Mukesh was chosen by the Delhi Capitals for the 5.5 core, but Shivam Mavi’s chances of playing cricket for India improved dramatically. Along with Shubman Gill and Prithvi Shaw, Mavi was a part of the Indian team that won the Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand in 2018. Mavi was left behind as a consequence of several illnesses that only served to impede him and demote him in the hierarchy, while the other two openers went on to have success.

His comeback in 2022, when he concluded with 14 wickets in seven games to finish as the 10th-highest wicket-taker in the Vijay Hazare Trophy and another 10 in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, assisted in him receiving his due. Mavi became the most expensive uncapped Indian acquisition in history when Gujarat Titans, the reigning IPL champions, paid 6 crores for him at the auction. Mavi immediately realized his career had gained momentum.

“To obtain a decent night’s sleep after playing home games, we often go to bed early. But because I had heard that day that the team was going to be unveiled, Samarth [Singh] and I sat in Saurabh bhaiyya’s room. A left-arm spinner, Saurabh. When I learned of my decision, everything paused for a little period. It was an amazing feeling. Despite my feelings, I was aware that my time had come.” Speaking with ESPNCricinfo Mavi.

Mavi already has a significant number of wounds. He has suffered an ACL injury before, along with two stress fractures that kept him out of action for approximately a year. Mavi had to take it easier as he recovered since he routinely bowled in the 140s. Mavi recalls that despite these challenges, the 24-year-old decided to remain optimistic rather than allow them to bring him down. While Mavi was having therapy at the National Cricket Academy, he also shared tales of how Rahul Dravid, the head coach of India and his coach when that country won the World Cup five years ago, had assisted him in getting back on his feet.

“I’ve always been mentally strong. Over the years, I’ve learned that accidents do occur in sports. It is easy to be upbeat while things are going your way, but staying upbeat when you are wounded is more important. All I ever did was keep saying to myself, “And Mavi,” and when I was wounded the second time, Rahul [Dravid] sir was also there and we were both at the NCA. I was under pressure because I kept getting hurt. I went to him at that time and requested his advice. I was told by him to focus only on the playing field. Despite the cyclical nature of ailments, it is essential to always remain open to new alternatives.”