Prior to the start of the 2021 CSA T20 Challenge, left-arm paceman Marco Jansen had played just four senior T20 but he was sold at the Indian Premier League Player Auction for his base price.
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The Mumbai Indians seemed to be looking around for other bids to come in on the young prospect, but the hammer came down soon after the most successful team in IPL history put in their offer.
Jansen toured Pakistan with South Africa’s Test squad but is yet to make his international debut. He is not a complete stranger to Indian cricket though having participated in net sessions during India’s 2018 tour to South Africa. He and his twin brother Duan even enjoyed a brief chat with Virat Kohli.
It seems that the biggest influence on the Mumbai Indians decision was Proteas skipper Quinton de Kock. Team management has revealed they discussed the lanky quick with Mumbai Indians overseas stalwart De Kock.
De Kock believed that the Mumbai Indians could snap up Jansen as a bargain claiming he was more than ready to make the step up to IPL level.
“We’ve been having an international scout program put in the place in the last few years like we have had an Indian scout program. This year he was in the Test squad going to Pakistan. We had a quiet word with Quinny (Quinton de Kock) and he said ‘you have to go for him, he is completely ready now’,” said Mumbai Indians owner Akash Ambani.
The Mumbai Indians seemed to have a clearly defined brief heading into the auction as they swooped for quick bowlers among their overseas buys, adding Nathan Coulter-Nile and Adam Milne before securing Jansen as the final overseas player acquired at the event.
It seems that much of what is thought of Jansen has been gleaned behind closed doors which gave Mumbai an inside track on the pace prospect who is likely to serve as understudy to Kiwi southpaw Trent Boult.
Jansen has been consistently good for a Warriors team that have found themselves struggling in all three formats this season, which has served to obscure some of his progress.
He holds a slight edge over some of the other quicks in the squad because of his potential as a lower-order hitter.
It is clear that the beanpole fast bowler has some filling out to do, but a spell in the IPL could ensure he makes a quantum leap in his development as a player and joins the growing number of quality quicks at the Proteas disposal.
After an auction where only one other South Africa was bought, Jansen showed that there is still interest in talent from our shores.