Suryakumar Yadav: ode to a giant in the making
Suryakumar Yadav’s batting average is more than his T20 international appearances: 36.
His T20 strike rate is four times the number of sixes he’s already hit in 28 T20 internationals for India: 173.
This is even higher than established T20I swashbucklers like Andre Russell, Jimmy Neesham, Evin Lewis, to quote a few.
A lot about Suryakumar Yadav is about excesses. A lot about Suryakumar Yadav is pointing north, much like the figure of inspiration his name is after.
After all, the sun is always much above us in the far reaching, endless sky.
The right-hander born in Ghazipur, Uttar Pradesh, found it quite hard to break into the national side. Now that he’s here, it’s not taken him a great deal of effort to rub shoulders with batting demigods- Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli.
The way the Mumbai batsman collects his runs is akin to an avid shopper out on a garage sale; that individual just doesn’t know where or how to stop.
A few weeks back, Suryakumar Yadav set the Asia Cup 2022 on fire with a quintessential, freewheeling 68 off just 26 deliveries, punishing an unsuspecting Asian outfit in the process.
His stay at the wicket was barely that of 39 minutes; but in such time, Suryakumar Yadav ensured that the sun would set early in Hong Kong.
If you were to go a bit further back in time, you’d have noted his outing away from the sub-continent in a particular T20 international that though was won by England, had India written all over it.
Published on the revered England and Wales Cricket Board’s website and YouTube page, it is one one of the most visited videos of this year. (Sky Blue Hundred Video)
In the third T20 held during July, Suryakumar Yadav became the bridge between England’s far reaching 215 for 7 and India’s closer to the whopping team score.
It took an extraordinary exhibition of hitting that manifested in 117 valuable runs coming off just 55 deliveries that paved a way for a comeback so spirited that even India’s past colonial masters were moved in awe.
To any generation of the cricket-obsessed in India, whether the Sir Sunny G lovers or the admirers of the Wall, it could be said that July 10, 2022 was the unifying factor given the force behind the inspirational century.
He wasn’t some batting icon. Not a global superstar either; just a gum chewing simpleton who likes to coolly crawl under the opponent’s skin.
Suryakumar Yadav spent 88 minutes at the crease in holding fort for an India desperate for a revival; on the other hand, Harry Brook, Moeen Ali, Phil Salt, Jason Roy and Jos Buttler together spent no more than 79 minutes. None of them touched a fifty.
But India’s lower-middle order specialist struck a mad 117 runs authoring a rescue operation so spectacular that even USA’s Navy Seals would’ve joined hands in admiration.
Kohli’s recent career saving and image rebuilding effort yielded 122 fervently collected runs. Though, what mustn’t be undermined and hence, given due weightage is that, even before that mega knock, it was Surya’s 117 that made globetrotting headlines.
Sixes off the short ball, sixes versus spin, huge hits over cover that landed several rows into the stands; Suryakumar Yadav on that halcyon Trent Bridge afternoon was akin to some batting samurai from outer space, someone that can only be heard from, not subdued.
And that’s precisely the thing about Suryakumar Yadav that likens him to a special talent, a batsman who fans simply love. It’s that he makes the difficult appear ridiculously easy.
With 5,300 plus first-class runs against his name, Suryakumar Yadav is here to slay. Let that not be forgotten. And it’s little surprise why cliches in cricket journalism have again started appearing attractive for what can you do when the truth is that wherever the fit-as-a-fiddle cricketer is batting, truth is, the SKY’s the limit!
May that remain the case for times to come.