For his stellar showing in the domestic cricket and IPL, Suryakumar Yadav recently received his maiden India call-up for the England T20I series at home and he justified his selection with two fine knocks.
While Suryakumar didn’t get an opportunity to bat on his debut match, he scored 57 off 31 balls in the fourth T20I to lead the foundation for India’s 8-run victory.
In the series-deciding fifth T20I, the right-hander played a brilliant cameo of 17-ball 32 as India won the game by 36 runs.
Reflecting on Suryakumar Yadav’s instant success in international cricket, Mumbai Indians (MI) mentor Zaheer Khan on Monday (March 29) said it has a lot to do with his attitude and being surrounded by the right kind of people till the time India call-up eluded him.
Notably, Suryakumar was left out of the national team for the Australia tour despite him playing a vital role in MI’s triumphant IPL 2020 campaign.
"With Surya, what stands out is his consistency in last three IPLs, and domestic circuit as well. He is someone who thoroughly deserved this chance and he has worked very hard, and at times you have to be patient, at times opportunity doesn't come even when you are performing," Zaheer said during an interaction on Twitter Space With Zak organised by the Mumbai Indians.
"That's something that was happening with Surya and he managed himself very well. ...And people around him also have been telling him that you have to be patient and just keep doing what you have been doing and it showed in his approach when he started.
"It was like a dream coming true and he grabbed the opportunity with both hands, and showed how determined he was to make it to that level, and win matches for India."
Zaheer was also proud of the fact that there are quite a few top white-ball players from MI who represent India today, including vice-captain Rohit Sharma, Pandya brothers Hardik and Krunal, pacer Jasprit Bumrah, among others.
"It's a proud feeling that your players are representing India at the highest level, doing so well. All the players that we (MI) have, all of them have contributed and Surya has been waiting for his opportunity for the longest time. Ishan and Krunal who made his ODI debut having played a great Vijay Hazare tournament," the former left-arm pacer said.
"...he (Surya) got his reward for all the hard work and all these players exciting talents. as cricketers, you always want to play at the highest level, in some way or the other, IPL has been that platform. Our team has been happy to provide that platform for players to take advantage," he further remarked.
Among the fresh faces, Zaheer was excited to talk about the lanky South African pacer Marco Jansen.
"Marco is someone who we are really looking forward towards having in the team. Exciting talent. He is very tall and can contribute with the bat as well, so he will add that dimension to us. When you see someone so tall, able to extract extra bounce and that's the exciting part," he said.
He also spoke highly of Jammu and Kashmir pacer Yudhveer Singh, who was spotted by MI's talent scout team.
"Yudhveer was someone who was part of the support team last year as well, when we were in the UAE. So we have kept up with the tradition of finding young talent, backing them, supporting them, help them evolve as a cricketer."
(With PTI inputs)