8:39 am - Thursday June 13, 2024

I want to be KKR’s finisher: Suryakumar Yadav

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Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) are on a roll. They last lost a T20 match to Rajasthan Royals (RR) in the league phase of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Since then, they won 9 straight matches to annex the IPL trophy for the 2nd time and started the CLT20 on a good note, winning against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Lahore Lions (LL).

On Wednesday, their winning spree seemed to be coming to an end. When Suryakumar Yadav strode into the middle, his team were wobbling at 89/5, chasing 152 for victory against Perth. But when the team is winning, you find new heroes, and Suryakumar was destined to be KKR’s hero on the night as he smashed an unbeaten 43 from just 19 balls, sinking Perth’s hopes with every blow.

A visibly delighted Suryakumar Yadav said he wanted to be the finisher for KKR. “I feel this has been the most high pressure game I have played till date. I have never played the role of a finisher till date for KKR. I have been trying for quite some time now to finish games for KKR but I was never able to play that role successfully. I tried finishing games in the IPL as well but I was making mistakes. Even in the last game against Lahore Lions, though I had a very small role to play in that run-chase, that innings gave me the confidence that I can play my role to good effect. I carried that confidence into this game which I guess helped us in winning the game,” he said in an interview with CLT20.com

The scoop past the keeper has been Yadav’s go to shot in crunch situations and the 24-year old said he doesn’t really practise it much, but it comes to him by instinct. “I have never practiced those shots till date. Those shots that come off are all because I back my instincts and play according to the demands of the situation,” he said.

Coming in to bat at 89/5, Yadav put the pressure back on Perth smacking 17 runs from his first four balls but admitted to be under pressure following the dismissal of Yusuf Pathan. “I became nervous because we all know that Yusuf Pathan is someone who can take the game away from the opposition from anywhere,” he said. However he also spoke about recollecting the advise from the captain and the coach which he said helped calm his nerves. “I remembered one thing that my captain and the coach had told me – ‘Whenever you keep calm, you can excel more during nervous situations.’ That is exactly what I did tonight and the result is there to be seen,” he proudly stated.

The 19th over turned out to be the turning point of the chase. Yadav smashed the final two deliveries of the over from Coulter-Nile for sixes to put Kolkata in firm control. “I had an idea about his stock balls in the death overs since I have played him when we both were a part of the Mumbai Indians. I knew he had a good yorker and a slower delivery which he might try and bowl at that point of time. He had bowled a slower bouncer before in that over. He then backed himself and bowled a length ball which had to be hit, so I hit it and it was all over,” he said.

Having been a part of the Mumbai Indians previously, Yadav talked about his admiration of Rohit Sharma and the consequent efforts in modelling his batting after him. “When I was with Mumbai Indians, I used to watch Rohit Sharma pace his innings, take the game till the last over and finish games for the side. I did not get to play many games for Mumbai Indians but this is one aspect of the game that I have learnt from my stint with them.” he noted.

Kolkata have become the first team to qualify for the semi-final stage but Yadav doesn’t want to relax. “There is still one game to go in the group and we wont take that game lightly because we have been on a winning spree since the last 12 games. We will try and win the 13th game too and try our best to win the Champions League as well,” he concluded.

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