Chennai, April 9: During the toss in the IPL 2021 match against Royal Challengers Bangalore, Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma said he has given debut to South Africa cricketer Marco Jansen, a 6"8 left-arm fast bowler no less.
Mumbai Indians, who have been tracking Jansen for a couple of years, had bought Jansen in the mini-auction earlier this year for his base price of Rs 20 lakh.
So, who is Marco Jansen? What makes him special and a cricketer to watch out for?
For the record, Jansen is a 20-year-old cricketer from South West Province of South Africa. He has been first noted by the Indian cricket establishment in the 2017-18 season. Jansen and his twin brother - Duan Jansen - were invited by India head coach Ravi Shastri to bowl at nets when India toured SA.
At nets, Marco impressed the Indian cricketers with his pace, angle and natural ability. In fact, he gave some discomforting moments to India skipper Kohli at nets and later he made his first-class and List A debut for North West Province.
Jansen has played 12 first-class matches so far and grabbed 52 wickets at an average of 20.51 and a brilliant strike-rate of 37.8. In List A cricket, he has played 13 matches, garnering 16 wickets. His T20 experience is not that much and has played only four matches so far and today will be his fifth.
However, Jansen knows a bit out Indian conditions as he has toured this country with South Africa A in 2019 and later was part of the South Africa senior team that toured Pakistan recently. "Marco has been a very highly rated bowler in South Africa. We were actually surprised to see him go at such a low price. We were expecting some more bidding around him," MI Director of Operations and former India pacer Zaheer Khan had said after the auction.
Jansen is also excited about playing for Mumbai because he can interact regularly with two of the best bowlers at present in international cricket - Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult.
"I just want to get to know them as people and from there on, try and tap into their cricket brains as much as possible, especially with Trent, Bumrah, all those guys. Try and ask them as many questions as possible and just enjoy the experience. It's not every day that a youngster who is 20 years old gets picked in the IPL, so I just want to go there with an open mind and enjoy every moment."