It has been a stellar season for Suryakumar Yadav. In the Ranji Trophy, he finished 4th overall in the batting charts with 788 runs, and played a crucial role in Mumbai march to the 41st title.
In the ongoing Indian Premier League season, however, he has gotten limited chances to show his potential. With Kolkata Knight Riders’ top order performing well, Yadav’s role has been limited to the latter stages of the innings.
However, in KKR’s last encounter against Rising Pune Supergiants, with Manish Pandey out with chicken pox, Yadav was given an opportunity to bat up the order at No 3, and he made the most of the opportunity.
Chasing a target of 161 and with both the openers out early, Yadav shouldered the responsibility to take his team through. “He is someone who is so versatile that he gives us a lot of options. You can promote him to No 3, you can ask him to finish the game for us, and he has done both the roles very well,” said KKR captain Gautam Gambhir.
His match winning knock of 60 against Pune showed that he can improvise and play according to the situation. Surprisingly, it was his highest score in his IPL career spanning over four seasons.
With the knock, Yadav has made a case for the No 3 slot. However, his captain believes he is more of a finisher than a player who can anchor the innings. “It was a forced change obviously because Manish wasn’t available. Otherwise Surya would have definitely batted is the middle order or lower middle order to finish the games for us,” said Gambhir.
“It is good for a captain to have such players because you can play around with your playing 11. In the last game he did really well. Hopefully he can continue, and we can see how he does at No 3. Ideally, I would want him to finish the games because that is where he can be very dangerous.”