Surya Kumar Yadav: Audacity personified

Fly, Surya, Fly

Cricketers, in the middle of a purple patch, often get attached with giant words that only folks who don’t play the game can think of.

When Virat Kohli was in his pomp, the word that got associated with him was ‘swagger’. With Sanath Jayasuriya, it was ‘marauder’. The words only get fancier with each passing year.

However, every once in a while there comes a player that you look at and realize that he is neither filled with swagger nor is he marauder. But above both those levels, he is audacious.

Currently, if there is one Indian player who exemplifies that word with his strokeplay and wizardry, it is Surya Kumar Yadav.

Virender Sehwag, in his pomp, was fearless. Yadav is audacious. Fearless perhaps tells you that the batter believes he will emerge victorious in every contest between the bat and the ball.

Audacious not only tells you that, but it shows that the victory over the ball would be so mesmerizing that you could be left picking your jaws from the floor and Yadav, for a while, has left many jaws on the floor with his batting.

Some players just make you smile, with their shot making ability. Others make you roar for them. Yadav makes you go WOW. Shot after shot after shot.

Equally adept playing both sides of the ground, Yadav’s ability to score boundaries and clear them at will in the team is currently unparalleled and Rohit Sharma and co. will be hoping and praying that the last few months have only been a trailer to the main show, which is set to start in less than two weeks time.

The ability to play all around the ground has not led to frivolous sentences mentioning Yadav in the same line as AB de Villiers, but he has been anointed with the same nickname as the genius South African- ‘Mr. 360’.

There are differences, though, in approach. While de Villiers used ramps and sweeps to fast bowlers and pulled off some unbelievable shots in the process, Yadav likes to use his crease a lot more and play conventional shots on length, may it be the pull shot over short fine-leg, hitting sixes over extra-over or even using his wrists to flick Adam Zampa for six in ‘helicopter shot’ style over long-on.

There are only few times in a batsman’s career that they enter a mindset, when they are sure anything they try would work. Yadav, it seems, is right now living in that headspace. Purists might say it is a dangerous space to be living in since if it does now come off, the results could be reckless, but it is better for Yadav and for India right now if he stays in this zone rather than the one filled doubts and worries.

It seems inconceivable now that without runs from Yadav’s bat, India will go deep in the T20 World Cup. While Rohit and Virat Kohli might possess better statistics, they might be the first ones to say that in terms of impact created, Yadav is streets ahead of both of them, at present.

The audacity has taken Yadav until the threshold of the World Cup. The world has witnessed the trailer. Now he needs to show them the full movie, on the date of release.