Mumbai Indians batter Suryakumar Yadav is known for his 360-degree shot-making that has earned him comparisons with South Africa's white-ball legend AB de Villiers. It is his brilliant batting that has helped the five-time champions recover from an indifferent start to get into a position from where they were able to challenge for the playoffs spots in the ongoing IPL 2023.
As Mumbai Indians get ready to take on Sunrisers Hyderabad in a must-win match in their final game of the league stage all eyes will be on Yadav, who will carry the five-time champions' hopes on his shoulders.
Surya Kumar is MI's most successful batter in IPL 2023 with 486 runs from 13 innings. He has scored four fifties and one hundred in the season so far.
Yadav might have a dazzling array of strokes with the ability to access all areas of the ground but Suryakumar says he has a very methodical approach to his strokeplay.
"Whatever shots I play, I have already practiced them, either in the nets or in my mind. I always try to play with the field. I don't hit huge sixes but I try to play less risk, high-reward shots. I feel like the longer I play, the more beneficial it is for the team. I don't generally practice for more than 15-20 minutes. I know where my run-scoring options are and I stick to that. If it doesn't come off, it's ok. I go back and work on executing them better," Suryakumar said during the pre-match press conference at the Wankhede Stadium here on Saturday.
Known for his 360-degree shot-making, Surya said in recent times, he is very particular about shot selection and has cut down on some of his shots.
"I actually used to play a lot of shots but then I cut it down to shots which are important during the match situation. You have to be aware about what shots to play when you go in to bat. As I said, where my runs are on the ground and I stick to that. I don't do anything different. If it doesn't come off, no problem. I will come back again and do the same thing," he said.
Having had his fair share of highs and some lows in the last 18 months, Yadav has learnt to find the right balance to deal with fluctuations in form.
"I feel it's very important to have that balance in life. That's what I have learnt from last year and this. Last year was full of highs. This year, it started the way I wanted it to start but then suddenly, three-four ducks in four-five games. I realised that if you create that balance in your life� whether you are doing well or not. It's difficult because it's a human tendency," said Yadav.
"It's very easy to say that you have to balance it out, stay grounded. It's very easy. But to implement that in real life is difficult. If you create that balance, and stay the same with your friends and family when you are scoring runs as you are when you are not scoring runs, then it actually reflects in the game. I have felt it during the last month. At the start of the IPL, I started thinking: �where are my runs!' But then I started doing the same things which helped me do well last year and everything came back to place," he added.
Despite his recent success in white-ball cricket and having played 130 matches in IPL, Suraykumar said he still feels the butterflies in his tummy when he goes out to bat.
"The pressure is always there. It is always there whether I am getting runs or not getting runs, I always feel the pressure. If someone says there is no pressure, he is lying. It's good to have that pressure and butterflies when you are going into bat. That's how you overcome it and become a better cricketer," he said.
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