Since shifting his base to Mumbai Indians (MI) from Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in 2018, Suryakumar Yadav has been delivered consistently in the Indian Premier League (IPL). Proving his worth with the bat, he has established himself as a pivotal element of the MI batting unit.
Before joining the MI outfit, Surya was playing the role of a finisher for the Kolkata franchise. But after being snapped up by the Mumbai franchise, he has evolved as a player. He made his presence felt in his first season itself, scoring 512 for the Rohit Sharma-led side in 2018. He followed it up by scoring 424 runs in the next edition.
Suryakumar also had a stellar IPL 2020 in the UAE. Including a whirlwind match-winning knock against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), the right-hander smashed 480 runs this season at an impressive average of 40.00 and strike-rate of 145.01. 'Uncapped' Surya finished on the seventh spot in the list of highest run-scorers this season and was second-highest run-getter for MI behind Quinton de Kock.
Highlighting Suryakumar's consistency, former KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir has said that parting of ways with him was probably the franchise's biggest loss.
“Suryakumar Yadav is not easily earned by Mumbai Indians. He’s probably the biggest loss that KKR has ever had in 13 years. Someone who was young, came into KKR, played for four years, obviously couldn’t get the number where he should have batted at because of the batting line up we had at that time,” Gambhir told ESPNCricinfo.
“Manish Pandey was batting at No. 3 but he was batting at No. 6 or 7. KKR could have easily built around Suryakumar Yadav. He was the vice-captain when he was leading the side. Made him the vice-captain so that there was an easy transition. I could see that leadership quality with Surya. Very selfless guy, you make him bat at No. 6 or 7. He can bat at any number. There will never be a phase where he’d like to bat at 3. And that is the kind of players you want.”
Gambhir even said that Surya has the potential to lead the Mumbai camp if he sticks with the franchise. Gambhir had recently backed 30-year-old Surya to receive a national call-up.
"The biggest loss till now KKR is ever had is probably letting go Suryakumar Yadav because you don’t get Indian players with that kind of talent. We still haven’t seen his leadership quality. He’s got a great head on his shoulder. He knows how to lead a side. Going forward, I’m sure Surya will take charge of this side if he stays with Mumbai Indians," added Gambhir.