BENGALURU: If Suryakumar Yadav walks to the batting crease with a walking stick in his hand, he may still score decent runs. His form was top notch in the recently-concluded IPL, where he enjoyed a solid season with 480 runs at a strike rate of 145 and helped Mumbai Indians lift the title. Experts went gaga about his consistent batting, and the way in which he dominated proceedings against top-quality bowlers received several plaudits.
He has been an example of consistency, with an aggregate score of 512 and 424 runs in the 2018 and 2019 editions of IPL, respectively. His consistency is not limited to IPL as his domestic performance over the last few years in white ball cricket suggests. If one just looks at his last two seasons for Mumbai in domestic cricket, Suryakumar, who made his Mumbai debut in 2010, scored 467 runs (10 innings) in the Vijay Hazare Trophy and managed 609 (18 innings) in the Mushtaq Ali Trophy.
Right from his youth, the right-hander has been a talented player. Former Mumbai U-22 coach Vilas Godbole is not surprised with his superior batting display of late. “When I saw him initially bat in his U-22 days, I was amazed with his brilliance,” recalls Godbole, under whose guidance Suryakumar played for a couple of years.
“He was very good, used to middle the ball from the first delivery itself. That is the hallmark of a quality batsman. Even in games during that time, he had an aura of confidence. One can still see that now. ”It is not only about his ability to score runs, but his style that sets him apart. The 30-year-old draws a painting of calmness while he is at the pitch. Be it the required rate pressure or wickets falling at the other end, he does not panic. Suryakumar, who can anchor an innings whenever needed, takes the attack to the opposition while playing normal shots with utter class and ease as well.
And with a rich experience in domestic cricket and IPL, one can sense that the Mumbaikar is playing some of his best cricket now. In the last two seasons, Mumbai coach Vinayak Samant has seen him mature, which is resulting in consistency. “His calm approach towards the game comes from his maturity that he has gained over the seasons. He is not afraid to express himself in the middle,” Samant said.
Despite his performances, he is yet to represent India. The BCCI selectors picked three squads (Test, ODI and T20I) for their tour Down Under, but he could not book a flight to Australia, and Godbole feels that his turn will come soon.
“He has to learn to take it in his stride. I know it is difficult when he is playing so well. But he needs to be patient and wait for his opportunity. His turn will, hopefully, come,” concluded Godbole.