In an interview with the reporter, the Mumbai Indians batsman had revealed that as a young 20-year-old — picked up by MI in 2011 — it was interacting with then skipper Sachin Tendulkar at the nets that helped him understand the nuances of the game and the requirements to succeed against the best in the business.
Suryakumar first came to limelight when Kolkata Knight Riders signed him in 2014 and he took to the league by storm. His quickfire 20s and 30s not only won the Knights tight games, but he also became a household name with his flamboyant yet confidence self. But his journey in the cash-rich league started back in 2011 when Mumbai Indians had signed an unknown youngster. While he didn’t play a game, Tendulkar managed to impress upon him the areas he needed to work on.
The last few seasons haven’t been good for the batsman, but back with Mumbai Indians, Suryakumar has once again shown the spark and panache that sets the best from the rest. At present Suryakumar is the highest run-getter for the defending champions with 283 runs from 8 innings with two fifties. He has been a tormentor at the crease and has shown that he loves improvising to put the bowler off length.
And this unorthodox habit of the 27-year-old comes from having grown up in the Mumbai circles where the batsman feels that one has to think out-of-the-box to get noticed.
“If you want to get noticed in Mumbai cricket, you have to be different. You have to do something exceptional. And every time I stepped on the field, I thought that I have to do something different and something interesting, to entertain myself and everyone,” he said in a video for Mumbai Indians.
While he is yet to break into the national circuit, Suryakumar impressed one and all with his technique from the word go. “When he first came to the ground, he was just 8 or 9. He would pick the ball and throw it back, but he would stay on the ground. We would have MCA’s U-14 nets at our ground back then. The nets were supervised by Kamath Sir. The moment he saw Suryakumar at the nets, he said this boy will go places. In the age group, he would initially get out after scoring 50 or 60. But there was this particular game at Cross Maidan and there he scored 140-odd off just 40-45 balls. And that was the start of great things,” childhood coach Aswalkar said.
In fact, it wasn’t easy for his father Ashok Yadav, an electrical engineer, to let his son train for cricket when most of the other kids in the Bhabha Atomic Reserach Centre (BARC) Colony would be studying and preparing to become future engineers. But it was Kamath Sir’s words that helped the cause of the young kid.
“Normally kids in the BARC Colony are inclined towards education, but we took a bit of risk and we thought we will let him pursue whatever he wants. When Kamath sir saw him, he said this boy will at least play Ranji matches,” he revealed.
While the batsman is clearly looking to help Mumbai Indians graft their way back into the championship, they have 4 points from 8 games and must win all games, mother Sapana Yadav is keen to see her son don the national jersey.
“There is always a target on the mind and I wish to see him win the India cap,” she smiled, speaking about her son in the MI video.
First Published: May 3, 2018, 2:53 PM IST