Amidst the euphoria surrounding the discovery of Mayank Yadav, there’s another IPL debutant from our camp, who has been quietly, yet surely, making a name for himself - the promising Manimaran Siddharth.

Defending 181 against a star-studded RCB lineup featuring the likes of Virat Kohli, Faf du Plessis, Glenn Maxwell, and Cameron Green at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, could have proven daunting if not for Siddharth's exceptional spell in the powerplay.

His arm balls at speeds of over 110kph, mixed with occasional flighted ones, gave away just 21 runs in three overs and produced the prized scalp of Kohli - his first wicket in the IPL.

“I always dreamt of taking Kohli's wicket,” the 25-year-old bowler reflected in his post-match interview. “You can ask anyone in the world and they will tell you it's the biggest wicket you can ever take.”

However, Siddharth's recent successes stand in contrast to the challenges he faced in preceding years.

Who is M Siddharth?

Siddharth was brought up in the Indonesian capital Jakarta till he was eight years old. To nurture their son’s cricketing ambitions, Siddharth’s parents moved to Chennai where better cricket facilities and coaching were available.

Siddharth started as a pacer and wanted to be known for his swing bowling like Irfan Pathan but changed his mind and transitioned to off-spin after a few seasons.

Over time, he improved his skills as a left-arm orthodox bowler with his darting arm balls as one of the primary weapons in his arsenal.

Siddharth's career took a decisive turn when Washington Sundar, a close friend of Siddharth, recommended that he undergo training under the tutelage of former first-class cricketer AC Prathiban.

Siddharth paid heed to Sundar and the decision proved crucial in charting Siddharth's cricket career.

In 2019, Siddharth made his domestic T20 debut for Tamil Nadu in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. Playing his first match against a formidable Mumbai, Siddharth rattled the likes of Prithvi Shaw, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer and Siddhesh Lad to end up with figures of 4/16.

Dinesh Karthik, the then-skipper of Tamil Nadu, entrusted Siddharth with the ball in the powerplay that season and the latter picked up 12 wickets in just five matches at an economy of just 4.94.

Siddharth made his first-class debut against Punjab in 2019 and has picked up 27 wickets in seven matches so far. 

His domestic performances earned him an IPL contract with the Kolkata Knight Riders in 2020. The following year, he moved to Delhi Capitals but injuries derailed his progress and he was forced to miss the entire season. 

Despite the setback, Siddharth persevered and remained committed to contributing to the game in whatever capacity possible. He embraced the role of a net bowler, offering support to teams such as Mumbai Indians in 2022 and Chennai Super Kings in 2023.

Siddharth, whose name roughly translates to successful in English, remained steadfast and when the opportunity came, he grabbed it with both hands.

Playing for Lyca Kovai Kings in the Tamil Nadu Premier League last year, Siddharth took 11 wickets from nine matches at an economy of 5.62. The remarkable figures and skills of Siddharth were impossible to ignore, prompting our team of experts to secure his services for IPL 2024 at the auctions in December.

Looking ahead, Siddharth's journey is poised for further success, with his natural talent and unwavering mental fortitude. Here’s wishing the best for Siddharth for the rest of the season.