The Mumbai Indians managed to win their fifth IPL crown after they beat the Delhi Capitals comprehensively by five wickets in the IPL 2020 final. There were many star performances for MI throughout the season. However, there was one Indian player who took his game to the next level while batting for the team and it was Suryakumar Yadav.
Batting at No. 3, the 30-year-old scored 480 runs from 16 games and took his team over the finish line on more than one occasion.
Suryakumar Yadav played for the Kolkata Knight Riders before being snapped up by MI in the IPL 2018 auction. While playing for KKR, Suryakumar could only score 608 runs in 4 seasons as he used to bat lower down the order.
Former Indian opener Gautam Gambhir believes that KKR made a huge mistake by letting go of the Suryakumar Yadav. According to Gambhir, Yadav could have batted at any position, and since he was the vice-captain in Gambhir's side, he could have taken over the captaincy after the southpaw's exit.
“Suryakumar Yadav is not easily earned by the Mumbai Indians. He’s probably the biggest loss that KKR has ever had in 13 years. He was someone who was young, came into KKR, and played for four years. Obviously couldn’t get the spot where he should have batted at because of the batting line up we had at that time,” Gautam Gambhir told ESPNCricinfo.
“Manish Pandey was batting at No. 3, but Yadav was batting at No. 6 or 7. KKR could have easily built around Suryakumar Yadav. He was the vice-captain when I was leading the side. I could see leadership qualities in Surya. He's a very selfless guy, you make him bat at No. 6 or 7. He can bat at any number and that is the kind of player you want,” Gautam Gambhir further added.
I am sure Suryakumar Yadav will captain the Mumbai Indians if he stays with them: Gautam Gambhir
Gautam Gambhir believes that Suryakumar Yadav may go on to captain the MI side after Rohit Sharma hangs up his boots in the future. He feels that the stylish right-hander has a great head on his shoulders and KKR failed to make the most of it. Gambhir is firmly of the opinion that it is extremely difficult to get Indian players with this kind of talent.
"Yes, players have moved from one franchise to another. Chris Gayle went to another franchise and there are many such players. But, for me, the biggest loss KKR has ever had is probably letting go of Suryakumar Yadav because you don’t get Indian players with that kind of talent,” Gautam Gambhir said.
"He’s got a great head on his shoulders. He knows how to lead a side. Going forward, I’m sure Surya will take charge of this side if he stays with the Mumbai Indians,” he further added.
It will be interesting to see which players the IPL 2020 champions will retain before the mega-auction that takes place before the 2021 IPL season.Published 11 Nov 2020, 14:12 IST