Suryakumar Yadav, a consistent performer for Mumbai Indians in the IPL and Mumbai in the domestic circuit, was rewarded with a national call-up as the BCCI announced T20 squad ahead of the limited-overs series against England.
Suryakumar earned his maiden call-up along with Ishan Kishan and Rahul Tewatia in a reconfigured T20I squad that will face England in five T20 Internationals. Opening up on his selection, Suryakumar revealed that he started after seeing his name in the team.
"I was very excited as I got to know (about the selection). I was sitting in the room, trying to watch a movie, and got a notification on the phone that I was picked in the Indian team for England T20Is. I started crying after seeing my name in the team. I called my parents, my wife and my sister. We had a video call and all of us started crying," the right-hander told the BCCI in an interview.
"Along with me, they have also been trying to live this dream for a long time. It has been a very long journey and they are the ones who have stood by me throughout. It was really great to see them happy and have those tears of happiness," he added.
In the previous IPL edition in the UAE, Suryakumar averaged 40.22 and his strike rate of 155.36 was at an all-time high. He played a vital role in MI's fifth title triumph. Suryakumar also said that he's always dreamt of playing under Virat Kohli and the Indian captain's 'want-to-win' attitude is something that he wants to learn.
"Firstly, (I am) looking forward to spending some quality time with the team and soaking in the atmosphere when I reach Ahmedabad. I have always dreamt of playing under Virat Kohli for a long time and I am excited to go and learn a lot from Virat as quickly as I can so that I can be a better player.
"I have played against him in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and the way he reflects his energy on the field even after achieving so much for India is remarkable. I have seen him on the field keeping himself charged all the time. His want-to-win attitude is something to learn," said the 30-year-old.
Suryakumar further thanked the Mumbai outfit for changing him mentally and physically as well. He also pointed out how skipper Rohit Sharma keeps things simple while leading the franchise.
"I still remember the time when I was batting with Rohit Sharma during my Ranji Trophy debut. When I walked out to bat, there were a lot of butterflies in my stomach. He just came up to me and said, “Mate, just keep things very simple. You have worked very hard to reach here. You just have to go out and express yourself. Think about nothing. Just express yourself.
"Having played under Rohit, I have learnt many things about him and his game, how he keeps things very simple and his astute understanding of the game," he said.