KKR were on its way to chase down Mumbai Indians’ 169 at the Eden Gardens without much fuss when Surya Kumar Yadav walked in with the score reading 98/2.
The victory was still 61 runs away, 48 balls were left but Lasith Malinga’s last burst was due. Surya, however, announced his arrival in grand fashion with a little 20-ball 46 gem.
Yadav’s runs came at an astonishing strike-rate of 230 and the knock was laced with five big hits over the fence. Among those, two were expertly carved behind square. The youngster opened his innings with a boundary which had cheekiness all over it.
Yadav’s ability to loft the ball over fine leg or dab it fine past the keeper is nothing new. He has done it before in the little cameos for KKR in IPL 7.
Back then, he played his role to perfection to propel KKR to several respectable totals in matter of few balls. In most of his innings his strike rate exceeded 100 despite coming to bat at number 7 when hardly an over or two were left.
Yadav was a regular in the team but on most occasions he was robbed off an opportunity to bat as KKR’s top-order chased down totals with ease.
Yadav scored 164 runs in his 10 innings for KKR last year. Some of his finishing cameos include scores of 24, 34 and 31, all of them came at an average strike rate of 200.
When other batsmen look for balls to settle down, Yadav’s USP is going after the bowler right from the word ‘go’ which is a must have to excel in shorter format of the game.
But on Wednesday, he went one step further and played some very pleasing shots.The shot that he played through the covers to drive the last nail in Mumbai’s coffin vindicated his icy-cool temperament and gumption.
Credit for Surya’s elevation to the no.4 spot goes to Gautam Gambhir. It was his tactical masterclass to promote the 24-year old against Mumbai-based franchise which had players from his Ranji side.
Will Gambhir encourage him to play at Number 4 as the tournament progresses ahead of Yusuf Pathan needs to be seen. But if he does, then Yadav can be groomed into a classic T20 finisher. Especially for a team which prefers chasing scores.