India’s limited overs star batsman Suryakumar Yadav tells mid-day that he won’t hold back his punitive blade in the longer format; Mumbai Ranji team boosted by his presence in today’s game v Hyderabad at MCA’s BKC ground
Mumbai’s Suryakumar Yadav trains ahead of the Ranji Trophy match against Hyderabad at MCA’s BKC stadium yesterday. Pic/Shadab Khan
Attacking batsman Suryakumar Yadav has established himself as one of the best white-ball players in the world. He currently holds the top spot in ICC T20I rankings. However, Surya, 32, reckons that red-ball cricket is closest to his heart. The Mumbai batsman also made it clear that he won’t hesitate to play innovative shots in the longer format of the game.
Ranji game after three years
Surya, who has 5,326 first-class runs under his belt from 77 matches, will be playing a Ranji Trophy game—after nearly three years—against Hyderabad at the Mumbai Cricket Association’s Bandra-Kurla Complex ground from today.
“It’s all about the mindset. Whether it is red-ball or white-ball [cricket], my intent is the same. I try to express myself in this [red-ball] format too,” Surya told mid-day on Monday when asked about the challenges of adjusting to red-ball cricket.
Surya, who has scored 14 centuries and 26 fifties in first-class cricket, admitted that it was first-class cricket that gave him early recognition. “I started getting recognition because of my red-ball performances. My white-ball performances came much later. It feels like I am back where I belong. It’s good to be back in the Mumbai dressing room and meet everyone [Mumbai teammates],” Surya remarked.
When asked whether he will continue to play innovative shots in four-day games too, he said: “[Laughs] Obviously, there are a little bit of restrictions in this format, but if the situation demands, why not?”
Even former India head coach Ravi Shastri has often said that Surya is an all-format cricketer. But Surya, who has represented the country in 42 T20Is and 16 ODIs, is still waiting for his maiden call-up.
“It was really nice of him [Shastri] to say that I am an all-format player. I have always dreamt of playing Test cricket for India. I feel this is the best format of the game and I do have runs in this format as well. Let’s see what the future has [in store] for me,” Surya said.
He emerged as the third highest run-getter in the recently concluded T20 World Cup in Australia with 239 runs after Virat Kohli (296) and The Netherlands’ Maxwell O’Dowd (242). However, he has had to sacrifice a lot of things to attain such a performance.
“If you want to be fit and quick on the field, you have to sacrifice a few things. I have sacrificed a lot of food items. I used to love biryani. You won’t believe it… seven-eight years ago, my match-day routine diet would be brownies and ice-cream. Now, it
has come to salads, chicken and a mix of everything.
“The biryani is always waiting in the room. When I have a good day on the field, my wife [Devisha Shetty] tells me, ‘It’s a night to reward yourself and it’s time for some biryani.’ But no sweets, for sure,” Surya signed off.