When you talk about Suryakumar Yadav, the picture comes to mind is a sensational start with few glorious shots but when you just start getting awe-struck- his batting comes a false shot which brings an abrupt end to his tenure at the crease.
However, it hasn’t been the case in the Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy. He has scored 217 runs in eight games at an average of 54 and a strike rate of 188. He finished the Vijay Hazare Trophy group stage with 295 runs in six matches at an average of 59 and strike rate of 111.74.
During a brief interaction with Times of India ahead of the Vijay Hazare knockouts, Surya said that he still had the desire to play for India. He was tipped to be part of the India ODI team when he made his debut in 2012.
“I’m still hungry to play for India, but, I’ve showed that hunger only in the last year or so. You can say: ‘Der aye, par durust aye. (Better late than never),” Suryakumar Yadav asserts.
It was his honest self-assessment which eventually helped him get the consistency and the zeal.
“I analysed my game in limited-over formats before the start of this year’s edition of the Mushtaq Ali T20. I realised that there were very few games in which I’ve helped my team win a match. So, my focus was to correct that trend. I wanted to stay till the end for my and the team’s sake. I know that if I stay around, I have the strokes to help my team win,” he said.
He stated that he had also changed his preparational routines;
“Rather than thinking about the results, I began to focus on the process. Obviously, my natural game is attacking, but the idea was to curtail risky shots and try to stay till the end. I practised in the nets accordingly,” he added.
“Meditation has also been a factor which helped him become a better player. I’ve started meditating for the last three-four months. It’s one of the reasons which has helped me do well. I’ve started thinking about the game more in the last six months, knowing my strengths and weaknesses.”
Meanwhile ‘match simulation’ in the nets has helped develop skills of finishing a game.
“I’m trying to bat in the same way in which I’d bat in a game. I try to bat till the point I’m really tired so that it prepares me for a situation wherein I’m batting in the last three-four overs after being there in the middle for a long time.”
Inability to build on his early success
Speaking about his inability to build upon his initial success:
“I wasn’t thinking or analysing too much. I needed to work much harder in the nets to stay one step ahead of the game, but I didn’t do it. Slowly, I’ve realised in the last couple of years that I lacked something,” he stated.
“Sometimes, when you’ve too many shots, you get confused. It’s also put me down sometimes. I’m trying to reduce this problem as much as I can,” he promised.
Yadav had disciplinary issues in the past but is looking to reform himself.
“I thought of getting over this thing completely before this season. There’ve been a few things, but at the end of the day, the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) is my home, which has helped me come up in life and helped me in my younger days,” Yadav concluded.
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