The ninth match of the IPL 2018 saw Mumbai Indians locking horns with the Delhi Daredevils at the iconic Wankhede on Saturday, where the former suffered an agonizing seven-wicket defeat. It was Mumbai’s third consecutive loss in this year’s IPL and all of them have been a heart-wrenching one.
Addressing the media after MI’s heartbreaking defeat, Suryakumar Yadav, who scored a blazing 32-ball 53 while opening the innings for the first time in his career, said that the defending champions need just one win to turn things around this season.
“It is a little disappointing, not getting even one win out of three. But, we know as it has been done in the past as well, a few games down doesn't take away anything. It's a long tournament, we just need one win, then the momentum will be built from there,” Yadav said in the post-match press conference.
After being put into bat, Suryakumar Yadav along with Evin Lewis (48 runs off 28 balls) led the foundation for a massive total with a blistering 102-run opening stand in just 9 overs. The stylish left-hander Ishan Kishan also chipped in with a quickfire 44 runs off 23 balls as the Mumbai Indians posted a rather stiff target of 195 for the Daredevils.
In reply, DD started their innings with a flier as Jason Roy and skipper Gautam Gambhir put on 50 runs for the first wicket in just 5.1 overs. After Gambhir’s departure for 15, Roy along with Rishabh Pant (47 runs off 25 balls) added 69 runs for the second wicket. Roy was particularly severe on the Mumbai bowlers as he remained unbeaten on 91 off 53 balls to see Delhi home in the final delivery of the match.
Disappointed at not seeing his team through after scoring his second IPL fifty, Yadav said: “We were 10-15 runs short but still 180-plus is a good score on any ground. It was defendable. When we started fielding, we wanted momentum and take early wickets but we couldn't get back in the game. They batted really well and did not give us a chance in first 10-12 overs.”
When asked why he came out to open the innings despite being a middle-order batsman, Yadav said, “The team management came up to me yesterday (Friday) and after the last game and asked if I would like to bat higher up the order. I said I didn’t mind batting anywhere as I am flexible. So they said number 3 as the position I’d be batting.”
“But, on Friday, while we were coming back on the flight (from Hyderabad to Mumbai), and in the bus to the hotel they said they’d love if I’d open the innings as I have played a lot of cricket here (at the Wankhede) and I was the most experienced. So I said I don't mind opening the innings as I knew how the wicket behaves with the new ball. With the recent T20 Mumbai Premier League success, I said let’s take that challenge and responsibility and go ahead,” he further revealed.
With the scores of 43, 28 and 53 in his first three matches, Suryakumar Yadav is currently the owner of orange cap. No wonder, the 27-year-old was visibly delighted to wear the cap for being the most run-scorer in the cash-rich event.
“I really didn't think about it when I started playing the tournament. As I was batting really well, I kept on thinking ‘let's try and enjoy my batting more rather than thinking about getting so many runs in the tournament’. If I keep my routine and those small small processes right, this (pointing to his Orange Cap) will come someday,” Yadav concluded.