“Rubber ball cricket behind 360-degree game”:  Suryakumar Yadav to Ravichandran Ashwin

Xtra Time Web Desk: Team India batter Suryakumar Yadav is being hailed as the new Mr 360 after his whirlwind knock of 61* off 25 balls in the Super -12 game against Zimbabwe at Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday. During his blazing knock, Suryakumar played some atrocious shots all around the ground that included slog sweep, paddle sweep, ramp shot, scoop, cut at short third, wristy flick over the square, straight drives and extra cover drives. Decoding his knock in an interview with teammate Ravichandran Ashwin for BCCI.TV, Surya said

 “‘If you look at the boundary here, it is 80-84 meters, here the square boundary is also 75-80 meters big. I think just the rear boundary is small which is 60-65 metres. So, I look at hitting in that direction and I have been successful in that.”

During the conversation, Suryakumar revealed he seldom practised the shots in the nets and it was all instinctive during the match. On being asked by Ashwin on how he developed these shots, Surya was quick to give credit to the rubber ball cricket he played as a child growing up in Mumbai.

“When I was young, I used to play cricket with a lot of rubber balls with my friends. He used to bowl fast with the wet ball from 17-18 yards. These shots came from there. I did not practice these shots in the nets,” Surya said to Ashwin.

The secret behind Suryakumar’s success is he has spent a lot of time perfecting his craft before executing it to perfection at the biggest stage. The cricketer from Mumbai spent 4 hours a day with former Mumbai opener Vinayak Mane before travelling Down Under for T20 World Cup.

Suryakumar requested Parsi Gymkhana cricket secretary Khodadad for green a top bouncy pitch, replicating the conditions in Australia. Mane is a side arm specialist and he also invited different bowlers to have a go at Surya in the nets.