Former Indian cricketer Mohammad Kaif has lent his support to star batter Suryakumar Yadav following a barren run in white-ball cricket in recent times.
Suryakumar has managed just 16 runs in three matches in IPL 2023 thus far. He was dismissed for a golden duck in his latest innings against the Delhi Capitals while the Mumbai Indians chased 173 at the Arun Jaitley Stadium.
This comes after the Indian batter added an unwanted record of registering three golden ducks during the three-match ODI series against Australia last month.
Speaking exclusively to Sportskeeda’s Weekend Special show ‘SK Match Ki Baat’, Mohammad Kaif explained why Mumbai Indians should persist with Suryakumar Yadav.
Kaif told Sportskeeda:
“Even if Suryakumar Yadav makes 12 ducks, then it’s forgivable. He is the kind of player who can still be given a chance. It doesn’t matter.”
The former Indian cricketer recalled the explosive knocks of Suryakumar Yadav against England and New Zealand last year, which were his first two centuries in international cricket.
“What he did in England and New Zealand, that makes the bowlers scared while bowling against him. So four ducks is nothing for him.”
Former Pakistan fast bowler Wasim Akram had similar thoughts for the Mumbai-based batter amid a brief rough patch. Akram believes that the MI team management must back their match-winner at any cost.
“Look, he (Suryakumar Yadav) is a great player and everyone is aware of it. A batsman cannot be out of form because if you are out of form then you tend to defend the first two deliveries and don’t go after hitting. With Suryakumar, the form is temporary and class is permanent. I understand he faced problems in the One-Days but no worries as the batsman goes through such a phase.”
“Here, the team management will have to back him and tell him you are our match-winner. I am sure that guy has the ability to win the game on his own and will win one game which will look like an unbelievable performance.”
“Want Ricky Ponting and Sourav Ganguly to repeat the same thing with David Warner” – Mohammad Kaif
David Warner has earned the additional responsibility of captaincy for the Delhi Capitals this season in the absence of regular skipper Rishabh Pant.
Although Warner is the team’s leading run-scorer in their four matches with 208 runs, concerns regarding his batting strike rate (114.84) have something for the Capitals think tank to be wary of.
While chasing 200 against the Rajasthan Royals in Guwahati last week, Warner made 65 off 55 balls. It followed with a 47-ball 51 against the Mumbai Indians at home.
While citing the example of Shikhar Dhawan in IPL 2019, Mohammad Kaif, who was the assistant coach of Delhi Capitals at that point, narrated:
“When I was with Delhi (in a coaching role), Shikhar Dhawan came as a new joinee. All of us, including Ricky Ponting and Sourav Ganguly, asked Shikhar to increase his strike rate and play fast. So he went from striking at 120 to 132-135.”
“So I want Ricky Ponting and Dada (Ganguly) to repeat the same thing to David Warner. ‘Look boss, we want you to play in a certain way as a captain.’ Tell him to play the shots rather than building the innings.”
Delhi Capitals will play their next game of IPL 2023 against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in Bengaluru on Saturday afternoon (April 15).