IPL 2018: Mumbai Indians’ Suryakumar Yadav says he is hungry to play for India

Having been one of the most reliable players for Kolkata Knight Riders over the last four IPL seasons, Suryakumar Yadav was signed up by defending champions Mumbai Indians for INR 3.2 crore at the mega auction in Bangalore last month and with his new found consistency, the dashing right-hander said that amidst all the IPL, Vijay Hazare, and Syed Mushtaq Ali, he was itching to one day be able to play for India.

While his IPL exploits with the Kolkata Knight Riders have managed to shun a part of that infamous ‘tendency’, Suryakumar Yadav’s performances for Mumbai in the current domestic season have also gone a long way in turning his doubters into believers. Having scored 217 runs in eight matches in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy last month, the 27-year-old has carried his form over to the Vijay Hazare Trophy and has been a leading light in Mumbai’s middle-order in the league stage of the 50-overs tournament.

Yadav, who is currently in Delhi to play the Vijay Hazare Trophy knockouts, spoke to Times of India and reiterated his desire to play for India. “I’m still hungry to play for India, but, I’ve showed that hunger only in the last year or so. You can say: ‘Der aye, par durust aye. (Better late than never),” he said.

Suryakumar Yadav looks to work on his cricket

At the beginning of his career, the Mumbai batsman was tipped to easily make it to India’s limited-overs sides but has been marred by inconsistent form and some off-field issues since then. Yadav agreed that he hasn’t been able to live up to all the early promise but has been indulging in some self-introspection of late which has helped him discover new zeal and consistency.

“I analysed my game in limited-over formats before the start of this year’s edition of the Mushtaq Ali T20. I realised that there were very few games in which I’ve helped my team win a match. So, my focus was to correct that trend. I wanted to stay till the end for my and the team’s sake. I know that if I stay around, I have the strokes to help my team win,” he explained.

Acknowledging the role of a changed preparation routine and meditation in his new found optimism and confidence on the cricketing field, Suryakumar Yadav said: “Rather than thinking about the results, I began to focus on the process. Obviously, my natural game is attacking, but the idea was to curtail risky shots and try to stay till the end. I practised in the nets accordingly.”

“I’ve started meditating since the last three-four months. It’s one of the reasons which has helped me do well. I’ve started thinking about the game more in the last six months, knowing my strengths and weaknesses,” he concluded.

READ: IPL 2018: CSK signing Mitchell Santner glad that MS Dhoni is not an opponent.