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21-year-old Surya Kumar Yadav has impressed with some crucial knocks for Mumbai in the ongoing domestic season. A prolific run-scorer, he was part of the CLT20 2011-winning Mumbai Indians side and even contributed a useful 24 runs in the final.
Excerpts from Surya’s exclusive chat with iplt20.com:
On the current domestic season
The season has been good. Though I didn’t get much of a chance to play during the Deodhar Trophy, it is good that we won the trophy. This was the first time that I played [in the competition] and the first trophy that has come our way this season. So it is a big positive. On the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament providing a good build up to the IPL
It is a good warm up. Getting to play matches like this and playing competitive cricket like this before the IPL is good. It is good practice. If one gets to play a good competitive match against a good side, it is a good warm-up. If I make runs, it will help boost my confidence for IPL.
On being counted as a player who can perform after his recent performances on the domestic circuit
Feels good if someone says I am a player who can be counted on to perform. After my Ranji Trophy season, people are looking at me as a [more accomplished] player so I will have to perform accordingly, taking on my role with responsibility. If someone sees me bat they should feel that I have become more compact as a player rather then as someone who hits hard. The more I understand these things and grab the opportunities that come my way, the better it is for me.
On playing under Sachin Tendulkar
Everyone all over the world wants to play under [him] and share the dressing room with him. It is a very big thing and it helps [one grow as a player]. He motivates you to play [and guides you as to] how to play and how to score runs. While batting with him you don’t realise when the runs get scored. He makes his runs and helps the batsman at the other end score too.
On MI’S fielding coaches – Robin Singh and Jonty Rhodes
I have been working with [Robin Singh and Jonty Rhodes] since last year, mostly with Jonty Sir. Earlier, whenever I used to watch him field on TV, I would want the ball to go to him all the time so I could keep watching him field. Now that he is the MI coach, I feel even better. Last year, whenever I had the opportunity, I would work with him on my fielding. He is always ready to give fielding practice.
On how his fielding has improved
As compared to last year, I have made a lot of progress. Whatever [Jonty] has taught [us] about throwing techniques and direct hits and other such things has helped me improve. He says things like, “Runs saved on the field would mean lesser runs to score for the batsmen [while chasing]”. He has been giving us pointers on that. They may be small things but that helps a lot on the ground. We had a practice match in which he himself went out on the field. He said, “I will field and show you how to do it”. He himself went and fielded at point position, which used to be his spot when played. He saved five runs and took a catch. That particular catch would have been a difficult one for someone else, probably, but he held on to it. His effort helped us win that practice match.
On Jonty’s coaching techniques
He takes pictures and videos of us during fielding practice and shows them to us so that we can learn from them. I haven’t seen [such methods being used] before. It improves our fielding a lot. And I think as compared to the last year, my fielding and throwing technique has improved a lot this year.
On Kieron Pollard and big hitting
Whenever he has seen me bat, he has only said, “If you have the power [to hit big], then try to clear the ground upfront. Don’t waste your wicket trying to sweep or cut. If you get out lbw, there is no point regretting it later.”
On MI’s chances in IPL 2012 with international and domestic stars being available
MI’s chances have improved even more. We feel we have an all-star team, so the chances have increased. The options have increased in terms of players. Even if someone isn’t able to play, or is injured, then the replacement is also [impressive]. No doubt about that.
On the role of Mumbai seniors like Rohit Sharma and Dhawal Kulkarni in the MI squad
It helps. They help while [you’re] batting [with them] and [during sessions] in the nets. If you need to ask them something or if you want to tell something, they are there to help out and figure things out quickly. If you have been playing together for the past couple of years for the same state, there is an understanding; they tell you [what needs to be done] instantly. They interact with you and explain where you’re going wrong and show you ways of improving.
On skipper Sachin Tendulkar’s hundredth international ton
We have been waiting for it for a long time but we have [grown up] watching all his other centuries as well. All I would say is congratulations; I’ll congratulate him in person when I meet him. I hope he keeps playing and making runs and that we keep enjoying watching him bat.
David Warner is his greatest fear and Mike Tyson, his idol. Shaun Tait is an archetypal T20 cricketer of the modern era who has embraced and exploited his ability to the hilt in the shortest format. Having retired from Tests and ODIs, iplt20.com saw it fit to ask the Royals pacer 20 questions that come swinging in at him from all directions.
1. Nickname: The Wild Thing (“In Australia they call me that probably because of the way I bowl – all over the place.”)
2. Idol: Mike Tyson
3. Life’s mantra: Relax and have fun
4. Favourite cuisine: Italian
5. Favourite beverage: Beer
6. I can’t do without: Pay TV
7. Favourite movie: Wedding Crashers
8. Favourite band: Kings of Leon
9. Style statement: Jeans, t-shirt and chappals
10. Favourite TV series: Modern Family
11. Best pal in cricket: Siddharth Trivedi (“We met about 10 years ago in the Australian Cricket Academy. We’ve stayed good friends for a long time.”)
12. Best batsman I’ve ever bowled to: Sachin Tendulkar
13. Worst batsman I’ve ever bowled to: Nayan Doshi
14. Favourite delivery to get a wicket off: Yorker
15. The best bowler in the world: Dale Steyn
16. The best batsman in the world: Michael Clarke (“He takes on the captaincy and he has grown as a batter since then.”)
17. Favourite stadium in the world: MCG
18. Most memorable wicket: Getting Sachin [Tendulkar] out in my last ODI
19. If I weren’t a cricketer I’d be a … Barman
20. Batsman I don’t want to bowl to right now: David Warner (“Every time I’ve played against him, he has hit me for a gigantic six.”)