Zaheer Khan believes Suryakumar Yadav's patient attitude helped him make an instant impact in international cricket. The former left-arm bowler highlighted how the Mumbai Indians batsman had to wait for his chances at international level despite being a steady performer in the IPL and on the domestic circuit for the last three years.
Suryakumar Yadav smashed 57 off 31 balls in just his second T20I appearance in the recently-concluded series against England. Mumbai Indians Director of Cricket Operations, Zaheer Khan, lauded the right-handed batsman and said during an interaction on "Twitter Space With Zak":
"With Surya, what stands out is his consistency in the last three IPLs, and the 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 Khan further praised Suryakumar Yadav and added:
"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."
Despite enjoying an incredible IPL 2020 campaign where Suryakumar Yadav amassed 480 runs in 16 games, the 30-year-old was overlooked for the white-ball series against Australia. The selectors brought him in for the England series, and after just three international appearances, Yadav is being considered a frontrunner to play in the upcoming T20 World Cup.
MI have provided the platform for players to take advantage: Zaheer Khan
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Zaheer Khan was also proud of the Mumbai Indians producing several cricketers who have gone on to play for India. The likes of Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishan Kishan, and Suryakumar Yadav all made their names at MI before representing their nation.
"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. 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,” Zaheer Khan added.
After retaining their core set of players, including Suryakumar Yadav, the Mumbai Indians will be the favorites to retain the IPL title once again. They could become the first team to win the IPL three consecutive times.