Suryakumar Yadav looked like playing “gully cricket” when he was “toying” with RCB bowlers.© AFP
Mumbai Indians batter Suryakumar Yadav looked like playing “gully cricket” when he was “toying” with the Royal Challengers Bangalore bowlers in their Indian Premier League match here, feels the legendary Sunil Gavaskar. Suryakumar smashed 83 runs off just 35 balls — his highest IPL score — in a stunning show of 360-degree hitting to play a vital role in MI’s six-wicket win over RCB here on Tuesday.
He hit seven fours and six sixes at a humongous strike rate of 237.14 as MI chased down the target of 200 with 21 balls to spare.
“SKY was toying with the bowlers. He gives you a feeling of gully cricket when he’s batting like that. He’s just gotten better with practice and hard work,” Gavaskar said on Star Sports’ Cricket Live.
“His bottom hand is so powerful that he uses it to perfection. Against RCB, he started with hitting towards long-on and long-off and later agricultured shots all around the park.” The legendary batter and former India captain said Suryakumar’s red-hot form rubbed off on youngster Nehal Wadhera (52 not out off 34 balls) who also smashed his second fifty of the season.
The duo strung a partnership of 140 runs to put MI in the driver’s seat in the run chase.
“When you are batting with SKY your confidence is boosted, but the best thing about Nehal Wadhera’s innings was that he wasn’t looking to play shots like SKY. The best thing about him is that his balance was superb,” said Gavaskar.
Former India spinner Harbhajan Singh also spoke highly of the 22-year-old Wadhera for grabbing the opportunity with both hands and repaying the faith of MI team management.
“Nehal Wadhera has made most of the opportunities count. He was being fast-tracked from U-25 to Punjab Ranji Trophy and MI scouted him well. He just made the opportunities count in the absence of Tilak Varma,” said Harbhajan.
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