Whenever you come across a special talent- someone more than promising, someone more than the usually-gifted- we tend to wish them as, ‘Sky is the limit for you!”
Now, what if you are nicknamed Sky; won’t the person carry the underlying hope to be just as limitless as the universal roof above her head?
Suryakumar Yadav nicknamed ‘Sky’ is one such talent who might have broken a touch late in international cricket, but is making every moment count, well nearly all chances afforded to him.
Make no mistake for he toiled hard over the years in domestic cricket to reach where he is today.
When Suryakumar Yadav made his debut for Mumbai – his Ranji team – little did he know he’d have to wait for over a decade, eleven years to be precise, to be a part of the Indian national cricket team.
The journey would be studded with allegations of indiscipline, strife and more.
For those who have followed his decade long journey in domestic cricket, this was a setback to the promise he had shown in the 2011-12 Ranji Trophy season for Mumbai; Yadav’s fitness issues became a headache for his coaches while there were also complaints about being a ‘hothead’.
Reports of infighting and indiscipline followed, as Yadav was stripped off the Mumbai captaincy across formats.
The potential star looked like fading even before taking off.
But to “Sky’s” credit, the Mumbai lad believed in himself, altered his approach to the game and kept learning, unlearning, moving on and giving his best.
It was finally in the 2016-16 season, when it appeared that Suryakumar Yadav was ready to mature as an individual and evolve as an athlete.
His eating habits changed, he bulked up to aid his power-hitting abilities. The promising talent was determined to live up to his potential.
Suryakumar Yadav continued to pile runs both on the domestic circuit as well as in the Indian Premier League.
There was really a time where in the 2018, 2019 IPL seasons that you just couldn’t imagine the Mumbai Indians line up without him- could you? That’s when the side featured- as it still does- legends like Rohit and Pollard.
At the back of his promising form, the reckoning for the Indian national cricket team was never too distant. Suryakumar Yadav became one of team India’s first 30 plus aged debutants, among specialist batsmen in decades.
One would have to go back as far as 1981 to find the last successful batter to do so for India, in the form of TE Srinivasan.
And here he is, fresh off a mesmerising T20I century and that too, against England (in England), in a contest where other biggies in the line-up, Rohit and Kohli made eleven. That wasn’t just less than a month ago.
A late bloomer by Indian cricket’s standards, Yadav has impressed aplenty in a very limited time at the International level.
The 31-year-old is considered a special player given that envy-inspiring ability to play 360-degree shots and managing to find gaps from unorthodox shots is Yadav’s extraordinary ability.
Not many have mastered the ramp shot like Suryakumar Yadav has and he plays that particular shot with so much aplomb and swagger like few others can.
Is that all; that’s anything but true.
With a cool and a calm head on his shoulders and a skill to marvel, Suryakumar Yadav is now only a touching distance behind Pakistan’s Babar Azam in the batting rankings for T20I’s.
All he needs to do in order to be a tour-de-force in ICC T20I’s rankings is to score 10 runs from the remainder of the T20I series versus a very deflated-looking Windies; one of the two contests goes live in the next few hours.
Only having made his international debut at the start of last year, his rapid rise has come on the back of century against England in Nottingham last month and a half century against the West Indies on Tuesday, where he clobbered a 76 off 44 deliveries.
At 31, he is not getting any younger; but given all his craft and the desire to get better each passing game, not to forget the numbers he has quickly conjured, it’s fair to say that the sky is the limit for India’s Sky!