‘No better person than Suryakumar Yadav to finish a game’: MI head coach Mahela Jayawardene's ultimate praise

Updated on Apr 14, 2022 02:32 PM IST

Mumbai Indians head coach Mahela Jayawardene went on to state that there are very few in the game who can finish matches as well as Suryakumar Yadav.

IPL 2022: Mumbai Indians coach Mahela Jayawardene(Twitter)
IPL 2022: Mumbai Indians coach Mahela Jayawardene(Twitter)
ByHT Sports Desk

Suryakumar Yadav has been in top form in IPL 2022. An injury kept him out of the MI XI for the first couple of matches but since his return, the right-hander has notched up scores of 52, 68*, and 43 in his three outings. It's another matter of fact that none of those Suryakumar innings was enough to give MI their first victory in this edition of the Indian Premier League but MI head coach Mahela Jayawardene has full confidence in the India batter's qualities as a finisher. The former Sri Lanka captain, in fact, went on to state that there are very few in the game who can finish matches as well as Suryakumar.

"Today was to try and take the game deep, because we were playing with six batters. And there's no better person than Surya to finish a game off," Jayawardene said in a virtual press conference after MI lost their fifth match on the trot this season. They were beaten by Punjab Kings by 12 runs in Pune on Wednesday.

Watch: Brevis' 6, 6, 6, 6 forces Sachin, Rohit to enter the ground in timeout

Suryakumar walked out to bat at number five in MI's 199-run chase when young Dewald Brevis had just been dismissed after scoring a whirlwind 49 off 25 balls.

Surykuamar lost two of his partners Tilak Varma and Kieron Pollard to run outs but continued to fight with lusty blows against the PBKS bowlers. MI's hopes were dashed when Suryakumar was dismissed for 43 trying to hit a Kagiso Rabada low full toss for a six in the 19th over.

"In the powerplay, they would swing the ball a bit and all that. So I didn't want Surya to go into that situation and not be able to play his natural game also. It was just a tactical thing."

The 44-year-old said the idea was to give the youngsters more freedom in the middle as Suryakumar and Kieron Pollard play the role of finishers.

"The two young guys, we know what they are capable of. So given them a bit of freedom to go and control that situation, so that Polly and Surya are able to chase that. That was the initial thinking.

"It's a call that we will take depending on how we've set up tactically against certain opposition," Jayawardene said.

Jayawardene admitted that injured Jofra Archer's absence is hurting the team as the bowling unit has not been able to sustain the pressure.

"...obviously, one of the best bowlers that we've bought in the auction is Jof (Jofra Archer) – Jof is not here. So it is tough when you are in that kind of situation, but we are trying to see how best we can manage.

"In terms of the last four-five games, we've had some really good spells, we controlled things for a while. But we cannot hold that pressure going on, because in certain times, it's either two or three overs that we go big and that has hurt us.

"So that's something that we really have to nail down and make sure that our execution is better in those situations."

(With PTI inputs)

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