Suryakumar Yadav is one of the biggest names in the T20I world, and his approach for the Men in Blue since his debut has been fascinating. In fact, he has over the last year, transformed the way India play the shortest format of the game. But for Suryakumar, the dream is ‘Test cricket’ ahead of his return to Ranji Trophy.
"Yes, obviously, I've always dreamt of playing Tests for India as well. When you start playing cricket for your state, you start with the red ball. Gradually you get into the white ball team. I feel that this is the best format of the game, and I really enjoy playing it," Suryakumar told TOI.
Not a whole lot of people know but Suryakumar is quite a veteran in the red-ball format in India, plying his trade for Mumbai. Across 77 First-Class appearances, the right-hander has an average of 44, with 14 hundreds and 26 half-centuries. The 32-year-old has his sights set on making a debut for India in the red-ball format.
"When I started playing age group cricket and the Ranji Trophy, I played red-ball cricket only. At the start of my career, I earned slowly earned recognition through red-ball cricket. My white-ball (exploits) came later. The red-ball format is very close to my heart. I really enjoy playing it," he said.
Earlier, Ravi Shastri during his stint as India’s coach, credited the right-hander for his technique across all formats. Suryakumar insisted that he’s enjoyed batting in this format.
"Obviously, I do have runs in this format as well. I've enjoyed batting in this format as well. It was really nice of him to say that. I still remember that he said that I'm an all-format player. So, it feels really god to hear something like that from someone of his stature. Let's see what the future has (in store) for me," Yadav said.
Not just that, the right-hander also caught the attention of the Indian coach, Rahul Dravid, who asked the Mumbaikar to have a hold on a few of his strokes.
"I remember that in the Test series against New Zealand (last year), when I was batting in the nets in Kanpur. He told me that 'You're looking good. You just need to curtail a few strokes. Juts be yourself. At the end of the day, its about scoring runs in this format as well. Just keep things simple and enjoy what you're doing.'" Yadav reveals.
Whilst several players have talked about the difference in skillset to the different formats but Suryakumar believes that it is all about the mindset. The 32-year-old insisted that he will always try to ‘express himself’ in all the formats.
"I think that it's all about the mindset. See, my intent in every format is the same-whether it's red or white ball. If you want to make runs, your intent has to be the same. I try to express myself in this format too. I look to enjoy myself fully in this format," he said.