SuryaKumar YADAV Special Interview – Surya IPL 2023: Suryakumar Yadav has been a trailblazer for Indian cricket in 2022. The year according to Surya has nothing less than DREAM. SKY as he is fondly called made everyone in cricket fraternity his fan with his batting exploits in T20 Cricket. Surya in as Exclusive interview with PTI says, he wants to make 2023 more special and want also to be a GAME CHANGER in ODI & Test Cricket. Surya also has special target for IPL 2023: Follow IND vs SL LIVE Updates & Indian Cricket updates with InsideSport.IN
SKY also spoke about his journey to the top of T20 rankings, his focus on the ODI World Cup this year, his ambitions to wear the India whites. He also speaks about how his wife Devisha became the force behind the cricketer and the person that he is today.
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Q: If you were told one year ago that you will be world No. 1 batter in the T20 format, would you have believed?
A: It still feels like a dream. To be seen and called as world’s No. 1 T20 batter, if someone would have told me one year back, I don’t know how I would have reacted. When I started playing this format, I wanted to be the best and I worked hard for it.
Q: The priority in 2023 will be the ODI World Cup. Does that mean you will change your game for the 50-over format?
A: I don’t like to think too much when I am playing any format. Because I enjoy this game, whenever I go into bat, I put up a show. What I always dream and visualise is that whenever I go in, I want to be the game-changer. I have always loved batting, whether it is T20Is, ODIs or Ranji Trophy. If I can do what my team wants me to do in 40-50 balls, why should I bat 100 balls?
Q: Do you fancy your chances of making the India squad for the 4-Test series against Australia?
A: I started playing age-group national level cricket in red ball, so the answer lies there itself. There are a lot of tricky yet fascinating situations that you encounter across five days and you want to embrace that challenge. Yes, I am ready if they (Indian team management) need me.
Q: Skills can be taught but how does one train one’s mind to cope with pressures at the highest level?
A: I would say it was never impossible but certainly it was difficult. It needed a smart approach. Instead of doing a lot of quantity, I did a lot of quality practice. There were a lot of sacrifices made by me and my family. Before making my India debut, I had played 10 years of first-class cricket.
Grinding it out at firstclass level, you learn a lot of tricks of the trade. So when you graduate to international level and play different bowlers, all you need to do is express yourself.But let me tell you this. If you have gone through the domestic grind in India, you are ready for international cricket and when you start that level, you are not carrying any baggage. Just execute what you did at the domestic level.
Q: You were India Emerging (U-23) captain nearly a decade back. Over the years, while putting up performances at the domestic and IPL level, did you get anxious or angry that national call-up wasn’t coming?
A: I won’t say I got irritated but I would always think how I could be different to move to the next level. So hard work continued and you need to enjoy the game also.
That’s why you started playing cricket. Whether it’s a simple training session or even the food that was healthy but I didn’t enjoy earlier, I started to savour it. I knew that if I stop thinking about outcomes and just focus on process, I would someday break the door.
Q: Your friend Sufiyan Sheikh said that at times you don’t wear thigh pads even when you face the best of fast bowlers. Is it true and what’s the reason for it?
A: In the World T20 in Australia, I was wearing thigh pads as it was the first time I was touring the country and it wasn’t a great idea (not wearing them) on those tracks with pace and bounce. But yes, on Indian tracks with low bounce, if I get a feeling that wearing thigh pads would hinder me from playing the shots that I love, then I don’t wear them.
Q: Can you explain us a bit about your 360-degree technique?
A: It is an interesting story. In my school and college days, I played a lot of rubber ball cricket. On hard cement tracks and on rainy days, those who would bowl would come from 15 yards and most of them chucked (threw) really hard. Now rubber ball from 15 yards will come at 140 plus clicks and if on the leg side the boundary would be 95 yards, the off-side would be only 25-30 yards.
So in order to prevent off-side boundaries, most of them would bowl into my body to prevent me from getting easy boundaries on the off-side. So manoeuvring my wrists, playing those pick-up pulls and upper cuts have come from those matches.In the nets, I like practising normally and hearing the sound of the bat hitting the ball. If I feel good I come out.
Q: What kind of bond do you share with Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma?
A: I am actually very lucky that I share the dressing room with Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma. They are a different breed of international cricketers. Things they have achieved, I don’t know I will be ever able to achieve that.
Recently, I have had some good partnerships with Virat bhai. Rohit is like an elder brother and my sounding board. When I am in doubt, I ask him direct questions about my game. He has been a good guiding force since I joined Mumbai Indians in 2018.
Q: If you can also talk about the contributions of Mumbai Indians and wife Devisha in your career?
A: In my life and in this cricketing journey, there are two pillars — Mumbai Indians and my wife Devisha.
Let me elaborate about MI’s contribution first. When I came back here from KKR in 2018, I was looking for an opportunity to bat higher up the order and even without me asking, the management entrusted me with that.
I grabbed that opportunity and never looked back. MI provided me with all the facilities I required to move up the ladder. In 2016, I got married to Devisha and when I joined MI in 2018, we (me and Devisha) as a unit started thinking, what do we need to do to make the next grade. It was a dream we both nurtured and she is always been around when I needed her. Even if she doesn’t want to travel, I drag her around.
She brings in the balance that I need as a sportsman. She doesn’t let me get complacent after a good day in office and at the same time, doesn’t allow my shoulders to drop after a poor day.
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