Reckless to responsible: Surya strives to change reputation

Reckless and disappointed. These are the two most associated words with Suryakumar Yadav’s five-year stint with Mumbai’s Ranji Trophy team. For a majority of his stint, the stylish batsman has built a reputation of playing a reckless stroke, which in turn has disappointed the team as much as himself.

Suryakumar Yadav was dismissed for 99 after playing a rather rash shot.   -  Vivek Bendre

Reckless and disappointed. These are the two most associated words with Suryakumar Yadav’s five-year stint with Mumbai’s Ranji Trophy team. For a majority of his stint, the stylish batsman has built a reputation of playing a reckless stroke, which in turn has disappointed the team as much as himself.

Sunday was yet another example with Yadav throwing his wicket away while batting on 99 that not only deprived him of a deserving hundred but also resulted in Mumbai folding up for a sub-par total against Uttar Pradesh.

“Very disappointed with the stroke that I played,” a timid Yadav said after stumps. “It was a rush of blood that has meant we are bowled out without adding at least 100 runs, which I could have and should have done batting with the tail. Aditya (Dhumal) was batting well, and the other batsmen also are good batsmen, so I should have refrained from playing that sweep.”

Surya’s rush of blood was contrary to the way he has applied himself this season, especially in the last three games. A chat with captain Aditya Tare after Mumbai’s second league game against Baroda at Palam, Delhi resulted in Yadav being thrust with responsibility of adapting his game according to the team’s needs. And the No. 4 batsman had avoided a false stroke in the last two games. But he ran out of his patience.

Losing out on patience is not new to Yadav. It was his impatient nature and short temper that eventually forced him to resign as captain midway through the 2014-15 season. Not only did his captaincy stint turned out to be forgettable for the team but also was marred with several on-field and dressing room spats with some of teammates. But Yadav assured all of them have moved on.

“No bitter feelings whatsoever at the moment. Whatever happened in the past was a learning process for all of us. Everyone was young but now that we have sorted everything out, it’s a very good thing,” Yadav said. “In hindsight, I would say whatever happened (during the captaincy), happened for the good. It taught all of us a lot of things about life but the most important lesson we learnt was we should let bygones be bygones and move ahead in a positive way and work towards one common goal.”

Yadav’s captaincy stint, which lasted till the last two games of the league season, saw a fractured team, with multiple sub-groups. But since the last season, the Mumbai team has been a flock moving in one direction. Yadav credits Tare and coach Chandrakant Pandit for instilling that feeling among the team.

“For the last two years, we have been doing a lot of team activity, team bonding sessions and we try and stay together as long as possible. That’s the main thing and a very important thing for the team — to understand each other on and off the field,” Yadav said. “It helps us figure out all the positives and negatives; helps us understand an individual better. We know who is comfortable where and with what and thankfully for the last couple of years, we have been gelling really well since our captain and coach have initiated these efforts.”

He admits that he has become “calmer” in the last two years and is striving to be a “responsible batsman” for Mumbai. If he can avoid another rush of blood for the rest of the season, it would help him displace the two words associated with him.