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Suryakumar Yadav interview: ‘Once in the middle of a round, Virat bhai said to me “you video game khel raha hai kya?”

SURYAKUMAR Yadav is enjoying a purple spot in white ball cricket internationally and is now eyeing a place in the Indian Test team. The Mumbai middle-order batsman will be in action in the Ranji Trophy match against Hyderabad from the MCA-BKC ground on Tuesday. In a conversation with The Indian Express, Yadav spoke about his exploits over the past six months, how he himself is amazed at some of the shots he plays and why he feels a test call is imminent.


During the T20 World Cup, everyone wondered how you manage to play 360 degree cricket on a regular basis? What is your mantra?

I was also playing such hits nationally and IPL, but doing it successfully on the big stage even amazed me. The other day I saw videos of my stick for the last three months. And I said to myself “arre, yeh knock meine aise kaise khel diya? How did I do this? I saw it on social media and it kept repeating itself on my timeline. So I watched everything.

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How did the team feel when you played those kinds of shots?

Rohit (Sharma) is the only one who has seen me for a very long time. But this season he saw so many shots that there came a time when he didn’t tell me anything. In a few games he said “mujhe ab kuchh bolna nahi abhi tere baare mein (Now I have nothing to say about you)”. Once I was fighting with Virat (Kohli) bhai, and he came and said to me “you video game khel raha hai kya? Alag chal raha hai tera bhi (do you play video games? You are at a level different.) It was nice to hear those things.

I also talked to Rahul (Dravid) bhai. When he saw my innings like these, he came over and told me that at the position where I hit, I can go and change the game. When he became India manager, I went to tell him once that when the game is between 7-14 stadium, please send me to bat. I hit in this situation many times during Bombay Indians. I know how to score points in this particular situation. My mind was clear and I just went to tell him. He agreed and told me to speak up every time I go out to bat.

Rohit Sharma once said that you carry the most suitcases on the team. Any reason?

(Laughs) My wife travels with me. So a few suitcases are added, especially when traveling abroad. It can be cold or hot. There are shoes for different outfits (laughs).

What he (Rohit) meant was did I pack extra baggage once I went out batting? I had told him that whatever extra baggage I had in terms of planning, I left it on the floor. When I’m on the ground, I think of nothing else. And whether I scored or not, I never talk about cricket with anyone once I get back until we players are sitting together.

So what do you do when you get back to your room?

I watch my videos when I get back. I try to read situations and learn from my teammates.

Do you have any rituals before going out to bat?

I don’t, actually. I just sit by the dugout and watch the whole game without looking here and there. I don’t watch TV nearby. I just like to warm up near the boundary before I go out to bat. I always sprint when I go out to bat. It’s the only excitement I have. Every other ball, I will stretch, keep my bat in my hand and roll it to feel it.

The reason I sprint towards the ground is to feel my legs release until I reach the middle. What happens if I have to run three runs on the first ball? Aisa na ho ki body thandi hai (The body should not be cold).

As a drummer, when do you think everything is going well?

The bat sound makes me feel that aaj apna din hai (today is my day). At the same time, it’s difficult to be in the present because my mind tells me that I can score a lot today. It’s important to be in the present. As in the first game of the T20 World Cup, I scored 10 points on the first three balls. I had a head start. In this situation, if someone scores a 25-ball 50, the game is over. I came out as I felt ki aaj bada lalagega (score a lot). My mindset has always been to change the game.

Which round do you think was the decisive blow for SKY?

Suryakumar Yadav of India gestures after scoring 50 runs during the T20 World Cup cricket match between India and South Africa in Perth, Australia on Sunday, Oct. 30, 2022. (AP Photo/ Gary Day)

I think that half century against South Africa in Perth was the decisive blow for me. It was the toughest wicket I’ve faced so far. Before the game I went and hit the net for 15 minutes and felt like Perth there. The training grounds were quick. So I faced only 15 balls and told Vicky paaji (batting coach Vikram Rathod) that I was done for the day, whatever needs to be done will be done in the game.

When I went to bat I was like ki yeh pitch toh sochne se bhi jyada tez hai (this pitch is faster than I thought). So when I went to the non-attacking side, I kept thinking about the shots I could play because there was also rebound. When we were 49 to 5, we had nothing to lose. We could have done it all for 75, but I decided to take the positive route.

Who is the person on the team that you can call in case of doubt?

I share a good relationship with Rohit, so I talk to him. I give my point of view and take his point of view too.

Your wife says you watch a lot of movies?

I like to watch Andaz Apna Apna, Chup Chup Ke, Golmaal, Hulchul, Heri Pheri. I can watch them endless times. Whether it’s a World Cup game or any other game, I’ll watch it in my room on my phone. My wife asked me to maintain a work-life balance.

Did you feel the change once you got back home?

Everywhere I go I have been chased by people, which is new to me. Every Indian I’ve met in Australia or New Zealand, even at the airport in Singapore, a couple shouted “Suryakumar Yadav, how are you?” I was shocked and wondered why they were doing this, aisa mein kya kar diya (what did I do)?. I ran to catch my flight. There have been changes for sure. I’m the same as before, just my time has changed. Now the family knows it won’t be easy traveling with them. Previously, we used to go out for family dinners or a movie. These are the things I enjoyed, but now I know there will be restrictions.

Everyone says you should be chosen for the test cricket now?

I feel that I am close. I played this format. I have an idea of ​​red ball cricket because we all start from red ball cricket. Yes, the conditions are tough, but if you can apply your mind and change your game, you can succeed.

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