Batters in cricket are of two types - technical batter and an orthodox batter. Few play by the book cricketing shots, and there are few like Dhoni, who are have their style and play in an unorthodox way. Then there is Surya Kumar Yadav, who can hit one single ball in both- the orthodox as well as unorthodox way. It's a treat to watch him hit the ball in both: the orthodox as well as unorthodox way. His confidence is sky-high. His attitude is one of the ideal attitudes a player should have.
One needs to have some kind of confidence to hit a six on the very first ball of his international career, after finally getting an opportunity to play for Men in Blue after being ignored for the past half a decade despite performing so well. But it's just a routine job for Surya, who did it against the threatening Jofra Archer on a similar short ball which dismissed the short ball expert Rohit Sharma just on the previous delivery. In the games to follow, he started his innings with either landing the ball in stands, or with a crunchy drive reaching the ropes in style.
But how can someone be so confident? His coach Aswalkar says, it is just the way he is from the beginning. He never took any pressure. And he's always wanted to win the matches for the team, which he is doing. His passion for the game was so high that he often used to stay till late at night with his coach and would leave only after the coach left. He also played badminton well but eventually stopped playing it to focus on cricket. His dream was always to become a batter. And he did it. Initially for BARC, then for Mumbai, and West Zone, and finally for Men in Blue.
But his journey was not as smooth as it seems. He had to wait for too long. After representing the school level, he was immediately selected for the Mumbai team based on his performance. In 2012 IPL, he was Selected from Mumbai Indians, but played only one game and was dismissed for a duck. In 2014, he was picked by KKR, a team he served well during the 4 years he played. He was promoted to VC in KKR, but eventually, in 2018, once again the most successful IPL franchise, Mumbai Indians bought him. Since then, he has been an integral part of Mumbai Indians. Stating about him, Gautam Gambhir said " Not retaining Surya was the biggest loss for KKR".
And so. His performance in Mumbai Indians was even better than what he did for KKR. A perfect middle order batter for the team, he won many matches for the team. Although he always batted sensibly, he made sure he puts pressure on the opposition bowlers every time he came to bat. Sometimes with his ability to rotate the strike and hit only on good balls, and sometimes coming late in death overs smashing the ball in his own 360 degrees way, he always ensures MI were able to put a defendable score.
He also performed in the domestic circuit playing for Mumbai the same way he did in the IPL. In every single trophy, he was amongst the top run-scorers for Mumbai. He dominated the bowlers in Duleep Trophy, Deodhar Trophy, Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, Vijay Hazare Trophy, Ranji Trophy and IPL for 5 long years. Yet he was ignored by the selectors. He recalled once that every time the team was announced, his father would say "you are still not selected after this kind of performance". He had set a benchmark in IPL as well as domestic circuit, and still, despite his increasing age, he was not selected. People feared if he was going to be next to Amol Muzumbar. But he waited patiently. Even in th match, he made his debut, he did not get the chance to bat. But finally, when he got the opportunity, he made it count and made a statement of his arrival.
It all happened because he had just the right attitude any player should have within. This is why, in 2020 IPL, even before he got selected for India, Surya showed attitude to the greatest batter of this generation Virat Kohli and not getting away with it was loved by millions. Furthermore, when he won the match for MI, his style of saying "Main hoon na " to the dressing room showed his ego and his mental strength. This attitude has also cost him at times, one of the instances is when he was dropped from the captaincy of the Mumbai domestic squad because of the same.
But he didn't change. His attitude has done more good than harm to Men in Blue and all the teams he has played for. This is why, when every other Indian player struggled to play against Wanindu Hasranga in the 2021 Indian tour of Srilanka, Surya smashed 22 runs in his over. He always took charge of Hasranga, whose expression told it all. The same happened in Ind vs Pak T20 world cup match. When Shaheen Shah Afridi tore apart Rohit Sharma and Kl Rahul, Surya calmly hit an unorthodox six to him sending a message. Although he couldn't play a knock in that game, that shot was a sign showing his clear intentions.
In a nutshell, Surya is just the perfect combination of Virat Kohli and AB De Villiers. He has all the stylish shots which Virat plays (and also his attitude), and he is equally elegant like AB De Villiers hitting those unorthodox shots. His sweep is sweet, his uppercuts are stylish, his drives are crunchy, and his scoops sending the ball over fine leg fence are a treat to watch, and a threat to the bowlers. He is a player to watch out for the future, especially in the pressure moments like ICC events knockouts. He is one of the most complete players in terms of shots, as well as his attitude. His tale is a tale of aggression, attitude, and tremendous patience. There is no doubt that he is going to make billions smile with his performances yet again when he steps on the field.
Authored By:- Ashwin Jangam ( Cricket Analyst, Host and Entertainer)
Instagram ID: https://www.instagram.com/cricket_creativity/
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