Loving the challenge of batting at No. 4, says Suryakumar

Innovative batter says he has taken a cue from AB de Villiers’ training method

September 17, 2022 10:47 pm | Updated 10:48 pm IST - Mumbai

India’s Suryakumar Yadav. File

India’s Suryakumar Yadav. File | Photo Credit: AP

Be it the Indian Premier League or international cricket, Suryakumar Yadav has not only batted all over top seven batting positions but has been effective in each of his roles as well. The maverick batter is enjoying his current responsibility of batting at No. 4 heading into the T20 World Cup.

“I love batting at all the positions and currently I am loving batting at No. 4, because I feel it challenges me a lot. I am really enjoying it,” Suryakumar told The Hindu in a freewheeling chat before leaving for Mohali for the first T20I versus Australia in the lead-up to the World Cup.

Having spent almost a decade in domestic cricket before his India debut, Suryakumar stressed that flexibility is the key to success for a T20 batter. “With the way things are going, you have got to be very flexible right now to bat at any number. You just have to adapt to the situation. You need to do what is required in that situation,” Suryakumar said.

“If you go in the seventh over, you need to understand what you need to do. And in the end, if you go in at No. 7, you need to score like 12-ball 25 and you need to know how to make it happen. It’s not that difficult but you have to be very clear with your plan.”

Suryakumar, thanks to his uncanny ability to execute high-risk innovative strokes with elan, is often compared with South Africa’s AB de Villiers. Suryakumar has been trying to emulate de Villiers’ model of batting conventionally in the nets before letting himself loose in T20 games.

“I actually try to follow the same mantra as him. I have also heard the same from many players who played with him at RCB, that whenever he bats in the nets, he tries to bat normally, he just tries to watch the ball closely and does nothing fancy. So I also actually started doing that and kept it [risky shots] safe for the matches,” Suryakumar said.

Despite India’s disappointing campaigns in the last year’s T20 World Cup and the recent Asia Cup, Suryakumar stressed that the team is not desperate to turn the tide in Australia next month. “There is no desperation but behind it, there has been amazing preparations that we have been doing over the last six months. We are going really well. We also want to turn the tide around but there is not a lot of desperation,” he said.

“When you get desperate, you forget your processes, you forget your routine. Then something can go up and down. Instead, you follow the same what you have been doing over the last few months and the results will come your way.”

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