Cricket Suryakumar shows his versatility to revitalize Mumbai’s IPL campaign

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Suryakumar Yadav has earned a reputation as a six-stroke machine but on Tuesday the Mumbai Indians proved he’s no one-trick pony by giving his team a campaign-enlivening win over the Royal Challengers Bangalore bestowed.

The world’s top Twenty20 batter hit 83 balls from 35 and helped Mumbai reach a 200-run goal and jump from eighth in the Indian Premier League (IPL) table to third.

Suryakumar hit six sixes in his last six IPL innings in his fourth half, but just as importantly, he was also good at finding gaps, drilling seven boundaries to keep the scoreboard ticking.

The 32-year-old said he had to adjust his approach when Bangalore took the pace off the ball to make six-strokes more difficult.

“They came up with a plan here,” said Suryakumar, who partnered with Nehal Wadhera (52, absent) in a 140-man squad.

“They knew they had to bowl slowly, get me to hit towards the bigger limit and not give me any pace.

“I spoke to Nehal and we were like, ‘Let them come up with a plan. When they’re bowling slow, we try to hit the ball in the gap and run hard. When we hit the limit (well) otherwise we’d be getting doubles and singles anyway.'”

Suryakumar said he practiced for such situations.

“Your practice has to be the same as what you want to do in the games,” he added.

“I train properly. We have open net sessions and I stop the fielders and get out of my comfort zone…

“I know my game, I know where my runs are and I don’t do anything else.”

Five-time winners Mumbai host defending champions Gujarat Titans in their next game on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; Editing by Peter Rutherford)


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