Born December 21, 1987, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
A tall lanky fast bowler, much like his fellow statesman Lakshmipathy Balaji, Yo Mahesh started off his bowling career with a great success. From the onset, he looked like a bowler who would do well in a country which has scarcely produced great fast bowlers.
Alas, life never goes according to the plan. A tear in cartilages of both his knees put Yo Mahesh into the oblivion for four years. Enough amount of time to forget any player.
However, the young man still oozes with determination and has made a spectacular return to the Ranji trophy team of Tamilnadu. Even though he hasn’t taken as many wickets as he would like, he has made two very crucial centuries for his state team which has saved them from an embarrassment.
Yo Mahesh had a brilliant start to his bowling career. Playing for the Indian Under-19 side, he made a lasting impression on the selectors. Bowling against England at Cardiff in 2006, he became only the second bowler to take an international hat-trick in the under-19 cricket.
A 4-wicket haul against New Zealand in New Zealand further boosted the career of Yo Mahesh. The right-arm bowler had already made his first-class debut for Tamilnadu in the 2005-06 season of Ranji trophy.
Delhi Daredevils signed Yo Mahesh to be a part of their pace battery in the inaugural IPL season 2008. Playing in the same team as that of Glenn Mcgrath, Mohammad Asif & Daniel Vettori was a great learning experience for the young Yo Mahesh.
In a match against Mumbai Indians, Yo Mahesh took four wickets for 36 runs to halt the Mumbai team from putting up a big score. One of these four wickets was the wicket that every bowler then dreamed of – Sachin Tendulkar.
When everything was going just right, something terrible happened. Yo Mahesh was struggling with an injury but none in the country could diagnose him correctly.
Thus Yo Mahesh sought the help of an orthopedic surgeon in London. He had to undergo an operation on both his knees which had suffered cartilage tear. Yo Mahesh paid for this surgery from his own pocket, it was a risk which he had to take.
The recovery was painful but Yo Mahesh was determined to come back stronger. He soon reached the match fitness level and started playing club cricket again in 2016.
Despite not being named in the 26 probables for Tamilnadu in Ranji trophy 2017-18 season, Yo Mahesh fought his way into the XI playing against Mumbai at BKC ground.
With Tamilnadu struggling for the first innings lead, Yo Mahesh first gave able support to Baba Indrajith and later took the batting mantle and scored 103 runs himself. Coupling with two crucial wickets in the first innings, this was fabulous return for a cricketer playing a first-class match after four years.
Yo Mahesh again proved his worth as batsman in an even more dire condition at Indore. Batting against Madhya Pradesh, Tamilnadu collapsed to 6/76. Along with the wicketkeeper Jagdeesan, Mahesh took the charge of the situation and scored a magnificent 103 not out.
Upcoming months will test Yo Mahesh even severely; it will be very interesting to see how the gutsy cricketer copes up with challenges and grind of Indian cricket.