Have always dreamt of playing Test cricket for India as well: Suryakumar Yadav | Cricket News – Times of India

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MUMBAI: Having tasted success with the white ball for India-he’s the No 1 T20I batsman in world cricket and the powerhouse of India’s batting in the T20Is now- Suryakumar Yadav is hungry for Test cricket now.
Gearing up for his first game for Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy in almost 3 years -he last played for his home team against Madhya Pradesh at the Wankhede Stadium in February 2020 just before covid- the 32-year-old made no bones about the fact that he’s now gunning for a berth in India’s Test team.
“Yes, obviously, I’ve always dreamt of playing Tests for India as well. When you start playing cricket for your state, you start with the red ball. Gradually you get into the white ball team. I feel that this is the best format of the game, and I really enjoy playing it,” ‘Sky’ as he’s fondly called, said ahead of Mumbai’s second round match against Hyderabad at the MCA‘s ground in BKC from Tuesday.
Clearly, red-ball cricket is close to Surya’s heart as well. “When I started playing age group cricket and the Ranji Trophy, I played red-ball cricket only. At the start of my career, I earned slowly earned recognition through red-ball cricket. My white-ball (exploits) came later. The red-ball format is very close to my heart. I really enjoy playing it,” he said.
Former India coach Ravi Shastri had said recently that if given a chance, he would give Yadav a crack in Tests. Does Surya himself beleive that he can excel in Test cricket? “Obviously, I do have runs in this format as well. I’ve enjoyed batting in this format as well. It was really nice of him to say that. I still remember that he said that I’m an all-format player. So, it feels really god to hear something like that from someone of his stature. Let’s see what the future has (in store) for me,” Yadav said.
Has he spoken to India head coach Rahul Dravid about his Test dream? “I remember that in the Test series against New Zealand (last year), when I was batting in the nets in Kanpur. He told me that ‘You’re looking good. You just need to curtail a few strokes. Juts be yourself. At the end of the day, its about scoring runs in this format as well. Just keep things simple and enjoy what you’re doing.'” Yadav reveals.
Like most India players before him, Yadav is excited to play for Mumbai again. “As I always say, it feels like I’m back home, to where I belong. It feels great to meet everyone. I played my last First-Class game before the pandemic. After that, I didn’t get an opportunity (to play in the Ranji Trophy). It feels good to be back in the Mumbai dressing room. I’m really forward to this game, and perhaps the next one too,” he said. “The team is doing well, and I’d also love to contribute. We won the last game, and it will be icing on the cake if we can win another one,” he added.
It wouldn’t be easy for the explosive batsman to switch to red-ball cricket after playing white-ball cricket continuously for the past one and a half years-he would again be playing white-ball cricket when the Lankans come visiting in early January -but Yadav said that the back and forth shifts in format shouldn’t be a problem for him.
“I think that it’s all about the mindset. See, my intent in every format is the same-whether it’s red or white ball. If you want to make runs, your intent has to be the same. I try to express myself in this format too. I look to enjoy myself fully in this format,” he said.
He feels that a simple mantra has helped him achieve success in the game. “I try and keep things really simple. I’m a strong believer of my routines and processes which I follow on all net and match days. So, the message to everyone will be the same. Irrespective of what you are doing-scoring runs or not-try and keep that balance in your life and rest everything will be taken care of automatically,” explained Yadav.
Will he look to play all the unconventional shots-the ramp, scoop, reverse scoop, the six over point-that have earned him fame in the T20s, in the Ranji Trophy too from now on? Breaking into a laugh, Yadav said, “Obviously, there’s a little bit of restrictions in this format, but if the situation demands, why not?” he said.
How much has life changed in the last couple of years for him-every exploit in the T20Is is catapulting him into a different league. People now wait for his turn to bat. “I think that it’s a complete swap. It’s a great feeling, what’s been happening. I still that I’ve been enjoying the fruits of al the hardwork which has happened in the last 10-15 years..all the sacrifices which my family and me have made together. I’m just happy to stay in that space,” he beamed.
So, what were those sacrifices? “If you want to be fit and quick on the field, you’ve to sacrifice on a few things. I’ve sacrificed a lot of food items which I used to love before,” he said. One of the things that he had to ‘let go’ of was his love for the biryani, which matches his love for the game. “I used to love biryani. You won’t believe, before 7-8 years before, my match-day routine would be brownie and ice cream. So, that has completely changed. Now, it has come to salads, and a mix of everything. If you want to be on the top in this sport, you’ve to (make those kind of sacrifices),” he stressed.
He still relishes his biryani, though. “The biryani (for me) is still waiting (for me) in the room. When it’s a good day, my wife (Devisha Shetty) tells me, it’s a night to reward yourself. It’s time for the biryani. But no sweets for sure,” he said with a chuckle.



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