Surya wins match, staring contest in opposition to Kohli

New Delhi, October 29

Mumbai’s Suryakumar Yadav, whose absence from India’s teams for their upcoming tour of Australia has caused a hot debate, produced another match-winning knock in the IPL last night. After hitting the winning runs in Mumbai Indians’ win over Royal Challengers Bangalore, Yadav looked at someone outside the field, tapped his chest and gestured as if to say — ‘Don’t worry, I’m here!’

Yadav is among the 12 batsmen who have scored 350-plus runs in this year’s IPL and his 155-plus strike rate is second only to Mayank Agarwal in that group. Two days after the Indian squads for Australia were announced, the 30-year-old smashed an unbeaten 79 in Mumbai Indians’ five-wicket victory against Royal Challengers Bangalore, who are captained by India captain Virat Kohli.

 Virat Kohli gives Suryakumar Yadav a stare, and Yadav stares right back without flinching. photo: BCCI

Mumbai Indians captain Kieron Pollard said Yadav just needed to be patient for his India call-up. “Deep down inside, he must be very disappointed not getting to don the blue for India but I’m sure he’s very, very close,” Pollard said. “He’s done some amazing things for us as a franchise, and the most he can do is continue to let the bat talk and score more runs for us and take us all the way.”

At least Yadav’s latest effort did not go unnoticed. At one stage in the match, after fielding the ball, Kohli walked towards Yadav, staring at him, and stood right next to him — as if to intimidate him. But Yadav coolly stared right back at the India and RCB captain, before simply walking away to talk with the non-striker. Twitterati hailed that as ‘the moment of the match’.

Named Man of the Match, Yadav said: “I was looking to finish games for a long time. I used to think how to do it. I needed to know my game completely and just go out and do it. Been doing meditation, spending time on myself… That helps me out in the middle.”

“The shots that stood out were over covers to Chahal, and the back-foot drive to Dale Steyn. I worked on my game a lot during the lockdown,” he added. “Before that I used to prefer the leg-side. I have been loving the No. 3 position, but I wanted to finish off the game, which is why I am glad with this effort.”

While Kohli was at the receiving end of the result, India head coach Ravi Shastri hailed the performance on Twitter and advised Yadav to “stay strong and patient”. — TNS, agencies

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