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Suryakumar Yadav: Switched from working hard to working smart to call India, says Suryakumar Yadav | Cricket News

NEW DELHI: Tired of waiting for India’s elusive call, a frustrated Suryakumar Yadav switched from hard work to smart work, tweaking certain aspects of his game to get his long-awaited breakthrough.
The 32-year-old decided to change his training, started dieting and punched out more to be more effective.
“After 2017-18, me and my wife, Devisha, sat down and decided, let’s do some smart work from now on. You’ve worked hard, you’ve come this far, let’s do something different and we’ll see what happens, Suryakumar told ESPNCricinfo’s Cricket Monthly.
“I started training in a different way. After 2018 I realized what I needed to work on in my game. I started hitting more outwards.


Suryakumar Yadav. (AFP photo)
“I started dieting. Did a few things that really helped me in the 2018 and 2019 domestic season. And going forward, my body was completely different in 2020.”
Suryakumar made his international cricket debut in a T20 match against England in March 2021, 11 years after the start of his first-class career.
Suryakumar felt he had practiced mindlessly before and got frustrated, but after he switched to ‘quality training’ he became more consistent.
“It took time. It took me about a year and a half to realize what my body is used to – what will help me, how can I move forward.
“Eventually we both realized, yes, we are going in the right direction. Then everything went on autopilot. I knew what to do, how to train, how much practice to do,” he said.


Suryakumar Yadav. (AFP photo)
“Before that I was just practicing, practicing, sometimes a little frustrated. And I felt there was no quality in that – there was a lot of quantity. But after 2018 there was a lot of quality in my training, diet, net sessions and everything, which helped me a lot.
“And then it was a complete build-up, runs came in all formats, including in the IPL. So consistency came with that and I ended up breaking the door.”
In 2020, Suryakumar was disappointed to be left out of the Indian T20 squad for the Australia tour, and a few days later, he played a scintillating 43-ball 79-run knockout for Mumbai Indians.
“It was a bit difficult. I mean, all the teammates from different countries (during the IPL) told me that your chance has come, you are doing so well,” he said.
“And I was also very excited at the time and I imagined things: yes, I will do this, I will do that when I play for India. But when it didn’t come, of course I was disappointed.”
The Mumbai Dasher, acronym SKY, tends to hit a boundary from the very first ball. Until the end of the 2022 Asian Cup, he sent the opening delivery to the fence eight times in 26 innings.


Suryakumar Yadav. (AFP photo)
“No, that’s not planned (hit the line from the first ball). That’s what I said – when I actually walk to the stroke, I’m already warmed up, I’m excited,” he said.
“So if I have to stamp my authority when I go to bat, if I have to tell the opponent that I’m here on some business and I’m here to score points, what should I do?
“I hit a boundary from the first ball, a six from the first ball, or maybe I try to hit two to three boundaries in the first seven to eight balls I come across. That’s my playing style.”
Suryakumar credited rubber-ball cricket for its ability to play shots all over the field.
“I played a lot of cricket with rubber balls during my school days. We played on hard concrete courts. People just came running and threw the ball as fast as they could.
“When you play with the rubber ball on hard cement, you can easily scoop, pull, play an uppercut and then play a slice over point. All these strokes that you see me play, square off the wicket and behind square, have come from that.” said the right-hander.
“I’ve never practiced this in the nets, never against the bowling machine. So that’s where it all came from. How do you create those angles?
“You have no other option when it comes to your body — instead of getting hit, you try something.”

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