Ravi Shastri's prudent advice for out-of-form Suryakumar Yadav
After dominating the limited-overs scene for the past two years, Suryakumar Yadav's career has finally hit a lean patch. The Indian middle-order maverick went through the ODI series against Australia with three golden ducks - a rarest of rare scenarios - and has now suffered four consecutive cheap scores in the IPL 2023 for Mumbai Indians (MI).
On Tuesday (April 12) night, he ended up dropping two catches, one of which ricocheted off his hands to hit the Mumbaikar's head and left him in a great deal of pain. If that wasn't a sign of misfortune, Suryakumar then absolutely hammered a flick behind square on the leg-side on his first ball but was out-caught off the same for a duck against the Delhi Capitals (DC).
It's been that kind of phase for him. Walking into left-arm seamer Mitchell Starc at his fiery best in the Australia series has followed 16 runs from three innings of the ongoing IPL. Suryakumar Yadav can't help but put a foot wrong at this point, belying a player who could seemingly walk on water and throw himself off a cliff without a parachute until four months back.
Ravi Shastri, the former India allrounder, coach and one of Suryakumar's strongest confidants, is mindful of what the player is going through and believes it's only a matter of time before he starts dominating the bowling once again.
Shastri stands firm behind Suryakumar Yadav
"There's going to be light at the end of the tunnel, he's going to be seeing that very soon," Shastri told 'ESPNCricinfo' before the game. "And when he sees that, he's going to grab it and make the most of it."
The ex India coach urged the dominant T20 player to bide this phase through by sticking to his process and taking his "time" before hitting the top gear with the bat in hand.
"So the advice to him would be just give yourself a little bit of time early on, even though it's T20 cricket," he added. "One good hit and you're on your way. That's what he needs – one good hit, and a little bit of time at the crease. Not 20-30 minutes, maybe six balls or eight balls, and I think he'd be fine."
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Shastri's words were backed by Australian cricket legend Ricky Ponting, who, too, feels it's only a matter of time and luck reversion that we will witness Suryakumar come out firing.
"Everyone around the world knows what Surya can do in white-ball cricket. They should stick with him, I feel. Because he is, I think, the kind of player that can win you a World Cup," PTI quoted the former captain and DC head coach as saying.