Suryakumar Yadav, who ended the Sri Lanka ODIs as the Man of the Series, asserted that he is chuffed with his near-perfect start to international cricket, and insisted that, from hereon, how he progresses is all in his hands. Suryakumar further singled out 2018 as a turning point in his career.
When Suryakumar Yadav was snubbed for the tour of Australia last year, after proving to be the best batsman in IPL 2020, many doubted the prospect of the 30-year-old journeyman having a noteworthy international career. But 2021 has instead turned out to be an outrageous year for the right-hander.
Suryakumar started his international career off with a bang against England, scoring 89 runs across 2 T20Is, and has now further established himself as the most in-form batter in the country, bagging the Man of the Series award in the ODIs against Sri Lanka. Suryakumar has not just shown flamboyance, but also consistency and maturity, two traits that he did not possess not too long ago, despite possessing talent in abundance.
The Mumbaikar has had a dream start to his Indian career, and speaking post the third ODI, Suryakumar stressed that how his career progresses from hereon is completely in his hands.
"Obviously, everyone dreams of playing for India. It has been a lot of effort, lot of grind, lot of patience behind this," Yadav said after the third ODI against Sri Lanka.
"It has been worth the wait, and I'm really happy about it. From here on, how I build it is all in my hands. I'm really excited for the journey ahead."
For a decade Suryakumar spent his time in the domestic circuit hiding in plain sight, and it was the IPL 2018 season - for Mumbai Indians - which made people take notice of his potential. There, opening the batting, the right-hander amassed 512 runs in the season, a campaign that eventually ended up transforming him as a player. Suryakumar revealed that he endured a change in mindset after moving to MI in 2018, something he claimed helped him take his game to the next level.
"I've always been batting the same way as I am now. But yes, after I came to Mumbai Indians in 2018, things started changing a bit. I got to know what my responsibility is, how do I go about my game, how can I take it one step ahead. That's when I started practicing even more. Talked to all the players who knew me really well from the last five-six years."
After finishing off the first ODI with a quickfire 31*, Suryakumar got off the blocks quickly in both the second and the third games, but ended up getting dismissed at crucial junctures. 53 and 40 was what the right-hander posted in the final two games, and his untimely dismissal brought the hosts into the game in both matches. The 30-year-old asserted that he was majorly disappointed with not converting starts, and claimed that, moving forward, he wishes to finish games off for the side consistently.
"I'm disappointed about that," Yadav said of his dismissals in the series.
"The way I started in the first game, I got good confidence. In the second game, it was the perfect situation to win a game for the team. But that time too, it was not the way I play and I got out.
“Really disappointed with that. In the third game too, there was a good opportunity today to hold one end and try and play till the end, but couldn't do it. That's two things I'm really keeping in mind, how do I build from here? But that's how you learn and move forward."