Since 2018, Suryakumar Yadav has scored over 300 runs in every IPL and safe to say that after Rohit Sharma, SKY has been the man for Mumbai Indians. But, coming in into this season on the back of a horrendous international form, Suryakumar Yadav would have hoped for a change in fortunes in and in turn, Mumbai Indians too. Sans a Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya in the line-up, the onus is on skipper Rohit and SKY to step up this season.
The seven-wicket defeat against Chennai Super Kings at the Wankhede Stadium in their season opener had hit the Mumbai Indians hard. After being outsmarted in their own den, Captain Rohit Sharma admitted that the seniors, including himself, needed to step up. And when they arrived in Delhi still seeking their first victory after two defeats, Rohit had to walk the talk – and he did.
On Tuesday, the Indian captain almost carried the bat while chasing 173 against Delhi Capitals in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 match no. 16 at the Arun Jaitley Stadium, Delhi. After giving a great start to his team, the MI skipper was dismissed – by Mustafizur Rahman for 65 – when the team needed 30 off 19 deliveries. The game went down to the last ball, Suryakumar is going through that phase of his career when a player finds himself being talked about everywhere but not for positive reasons. The last couple of months has been really testing for him. The Australia ODIs at home were a frightening nightmare, where he secured a hat-trick of golden ducks. And now, the IPL isn’t getting any better.
15 against RCB, 1 against CSK, and a golden duck against DC. That’s how Surya’s innings have panned out in the tournament so far. What surprises the most is the fact that things started going south for him just weeks after he received the ICC T20 Player of the Year award.
Life could be tough in such situations but MI leg-spinner Piyush Chawala, who played a key role in MI’s first win of the season with 3/22 in his 4, says, ‘ye to hota rahta hai,’ while answering a News18 Cricketnext query.
The pressure of performing at the right time is always there and veteran leg spinner Chawla believes gaining back form in the shortest format of the game, especially for a player like Surya, is just a matter of 10 balls.
Expressing his disagreement over Surya’s form being a concern in the MI dressing room, Chawla said, “Suryakumar’s form is never a concern. Because it’s a format in which you need just 10-odd balls to find your rhythm. The moment you hit four boundaries, there you are in form.”
“And Surya getting out on the first ball, wo ho jaata hai (it happens). It’s just a matter of a few feet, it could’ve been a boundary or a six. So, it’s common.
“But the kind of batter Surya is, high on confidence. Aur bus 10 ball ki baat hai. Jahan 10 ball mein uske teen chauke lage (As soon as he gets 3 boundaries in those 10 balls), the usual Surya will be back,” added Chawla.
Rohit Leads from the Front
As for Rohit, It was his first half-century this season that got MI their first set of points on the table. Leg-spinner Piyush Chawla didn’t hesitate to laud Mumbai’s batting performance, giving a special mention to the start given by the openers.
Responding to a News18 Cricketnext query, Chawla said the wicket was difficult to bat on but the unit delivered remarkably.
“This track wasn’t an easy one. We all thought that a 170 is as good as a 190 on this wicket. But the way Rohit and Ishan took off in the chase… it’s always important to utilize the new ball. So, almost 70 runs in the first six overs, I think, is a very good start on this type of pitch. And that start set the momentum for us,” Chawla said.
“Despite scoring 70 odd in the first six overs, the game went down to the last ball of the chase. So, you can imagine how difficult the pitch was. And all of them, including Tilak, batted really well,” he added.
The beauty of the DC vs MI clash was both teams looking to open their accounts on the points tally and in the end, Mumbai did. Now, Rohit will fly back home to host Kolkata Knight Riders in their next fixture. On the other hand, DC will head to Bengaluru to face RCB.
On Tuesday, Surya looked to take his chance right from the word go, flicking Mukesh Kumar’s short ball on the leg. Unfortunately, he found Kuldeep Yadav at deep fine leg who latched on to the catch.
but it was the 71-run partnership between Rohit and Ishan Kishan for the opening wicket that aided Cameron Green and Tim David in finishing the chase successfully.