Meet R Sanjay Yadav, A Daily wager’s son rising through the ranks in IPL 2022

Left-arm spin-bowling all-rounder Sanjay Yadav made his IPL debut for Mumbai Indians against the Sunrisers Hyderabad on Tuesday, May 17.
R Sanjay Yadav Mumbai Indians IPL 2022?width=963&height=541&resizemode=4
Apart from his white-ball brilliance, Sanjay Yadav boasts terrific first-class numbers, with 603 runs at 46.38 and 55 wickets at a staggering 12.65.

R Sanjay Yadav was one of Mumbai’s two frontline spinners, alongside Mayank Markande, in their penultimate IPL 2022 clash against the Sunrisers Hyderabad on Tuesday. The debutant was at the receiving end of Rahul Tripathi’s onslaught, conceding 23 from two overs, before being run-out for a duck late during a tense run-chase.

An underwhelming debut does no justice to the skillset and the brilliance Sanjay has shown in a fairly young domestic career. The 27-year-old’s journey right from childhood has been one of a kind, and now, he has a great opportunity to showcase his talent at a grand stage. 

Who is Sanjay Yadav?

Sanjay Yadav was born on May 10, 1995 in Uttar Pradesh’s Gorakhpur. His father Ramsingh Yadav, a daily-wage painter, decided to move with the family down South in Hosur, in search of better work opportunities, when Sanjay was just five.

Sanjay began playing tennis-ball cricket in school alongside his younger brother Sonu, who is also now a first-class cricketer. The brothers caught the attention of coach M. Premnath at the ‘Future India Cricket Academy’ in 2008 and were offered free training in addition to all their cricket expenses.

He bowled left-arm seam till the age of 15, before switching to spin bowling due to the lack of pace.

He earned a maiden TNPL gig at VB Thiruvallur Veerans (now VB Kanchi Veerans), after getting into Chennai’s Loyola College, and in 2017, was picked by the Kolkata Knight Riders in the auction for INR 10 Lakhs. He was then picked by the Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2020, where he shared the dressing room with spin-bowling coach Muttiah Muralitharan and Afghanistan stalwarts Rashid Khan and Mohammed Nabi.

Sanjay was suggested to move from Tamil Nadu to Meghalaya by a TNCA official for a better exposure. In December 2019, he enjoyed a stellar debut first-class outing for Meghalaya against Nagaland, scoring 61 in the first innings to back it up 9/52 and 4/60 with the ball in a 110-run win. About a month later, he returned 8/31 against Puducherry in his fourth Ranji Trophy appearance. 

A major career highlight though came with the bat in the 2019-20 Plate Group clash against Mizoram in Kolkata, where he smashed an unbeaten 254 off 228 in a first innings effort of 662/4 declared before bagging six wickets across the two innings to set up a massive innings and 425 runs win.

Back to the present, Sanjay finds himself in the Mumbai Indians setup after being picked up for INR 50 Lakhs at the auctions.

Overall, Sanjay boasts terrific first-class numbers, with 603 runs at 46.38 and 55 wickets at a staggering 12.65. He has 364 List A runs at 45.5 and 21 wickets at 16.42. In 28 T20s till date, he has aggregated 494 runs while striking at 123.5 and has bagged 16 scalps while maintaining a miserly 6.79 economy.

Still quite young, he has plenty to offer with his multi-dimensional skill set and a transitioning Mumbai Indians outfit might just serve a perfect opportunity in near future. Given his journey thus far, it shouldn’t be a surprise if he does overcome the pressure and excel at the biggest stage.