Suryakumar Yadav is all set to play his first international game at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai, which is his home ground in domestic cricket. Surya made his international debut in 2021 and in his very second year emerged as the highest run-getter in T20Is in 2022 scoring 1164 runs in 31 matches averaging 46.56 and striking over 180. SKY will be playing his first game at the Wankhede when India plays Sri Lanka in the first T20I on January 3.
Now in the absence of senior players, Suryakumar Yadav is also elevated as the vice-captain of the Indian team for the ODI series. SKY plays for his IPL franchise Mumbai Indians at this venue and thus the ground and the conditions inside out. He was in top form in 2022 and will be key in the upcoming Sri Lanka series as well.
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Mumbai has had phenomenal cricketers coming out from the state. Sachin Tendulkar and Sunil Gavaskar are the two big games to have been played for India from the state of Maharashtra. Indian skipper Rohit Sharma is another big name. SKY is now being seen as the next big Mumbai cricketer who is keen to make a mark on Indian cricket.
Former Mumbai coach Vilas Godbole, who was coach of the Mumbai under-22 team a decade ago, said that he had whispered in a teenaged Suryakumar’s ears that he will play for India one day.
“He was very talented then too, now we can argue that he should have played for India earlier but the way he came back was remarkable. I saw him playing reverse-sweeps to medium pacers. I have seen (Sunil) Gavaskar-(Sachin) Tendulkar closely but never saw someone so special,” Godbole is quoted as saying by the Indian Express.
Players Like Suryakumar Yadav Set The Tone Of The Game: Former Mumbai Coach Vilas Godbole
He further said that the way Suryakumar Yadav bats reminded him of Vijay Manjrekar. SKY recently led the Mumbai team in their Ranji Trophy match against Saurashtra at the Wankhede and is now finally set to play his first international game at his home ground in the first T20I against Sri Lanka.
“He (Manjrekar) carried that arrogance and confidence while batting. The best players set the tone of the game. They know where the bowlers are going to bowl. This is the hallmark of a great batsman. Gavaskar had it, Tendulkar had it, and now I can see it in Surya. They know where the bowler is going to bowl. Surya is more dangerous, as he can hit behind the wicket too,” he said.
The Indian batter-hit 68 sixes in his prolific year with the bat in T20I cricket in 2022. He is likely to hit a few more in the first T20I in Mumbai on Tuesday, January 3.