Suryakumar Yadav has turned into a swashbuckling sensation across the Indian cricketing households after a phenomenal display in 2022 in the shortest format of the game. The more reason for him to respected all across the globe is his dangerous batting and the kind of strokeplay that he comes to the fore with.
Known as Mr 360 for his shots all around the park and often drawing contrasts with AB de Villiers for his exquisite footwork and his brilliant hand and eye co-ordination, SKY is being touted to be the next big thing in the antiquity of Indian cricket.
After a fine showdown in the preceding year and a rollicking start to 2023, SKY has showcased his prowess already that he can bring a significant amount of contribution to the longest format of the game as well. He displayed his true class in red-ball cricket for Mumbai in three Ranji matches where he also managed to score a staggering strike rate of 93.
Making note of his antiques, BCCI brought him aboard for one of the biggest cricketing rivalries of the world, the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, that is slated to be played between India and Australia. During SKY’s initial stint with Mumbai, the coach back then for the Mumbaikars, Sulakshan Kulkarni was deeply impressed by SKY’s wild batting.
Talking to the Playfield Magazine, Kulkarni said, “I remember Dilip Vengsarkar first telling me about Suryakumar. He used to play for Dadar Union Sports Club initially. I had seen him bat in an U-22 match for Mumbai. So when I became the Mumbai coach in 2011, the first thing I told the team management was that Suryakumar will be my free bird. He can play the way he wants and no one will say anything to him.”
He further added, “I gave him the license to play his natural game because I could see shades of Kapil Dev in him. There was no better player to watch than Kapil when in full flow. Surya had an attacking game and I wanted him to continue playing that way. I always believe that every team must have a free bird who can change the complexion of the game. And for me in that team, Surya was that player.”
Kulkarni concluded by saying, “That’s the beauty of Suryakumar’s batting. The centuries scored in T20s are mostly by openers. So it is very rare for a middle order batsman to achieve it in this format. The consistency with which he scoring those centuries is incredible. One knew sky would be the limit if he mastered those strokes because you cannot set any field for shots that he plays.”