Suryakumar Yadav is Mumbai Indians’ MVP. So Why Was He Left Out of the Indian Squad?


Suryakumar Yadav is Mumbai Indians’ MVP. So Why Was He Left Out of the Indian Squad?

Illustration: Reynold Mascarenhas

Mumbai Indians became the first team to enter the IPL playoffs in 2020, after a closely fought victory against fellow table-toppers Royal Challengers Bangalore in Abu Dhabi yesterday. MI chased down RCB’s total of 165 runs largely on the back of a match-winning performance by Suryakumar Yadav, who was also named Player of the Match in the aftermath. Yadav stood firm in the face of a determined bowling attack that did not let any other batsmen settle in and made his way to a cracking score of 79 (not out) off just 43 balls.

Of course, MI fans will be familiar with Yadav’s exploits. The 30-year-old batsman has spent majority of his IPL career in their colours, barring a sojourn with Kolkata Knight Riders. But after his KKR stint, he returned to MI and has proved his worth, becoming the team’s second-highest run-getter in last year’s IPL. Yadav has carried his good run of form into 2020, amassing 362 runs from 12 games so far after yesterday’s winning display. He proved himself in an adverse situation, even brushing off India and RCB captain Virat Kohli’s face-to-face intimidation tactics on the pitch.

But despite Yadav making a strong case for himself, he was a notable omission from the list of players chosen by the national selectors to embark on the Indian team’s tour of Australia this year. Many cricketers have considered it an oversight on the selectors’ part, given Yadav’s convincing showing in yet another IPL.

Notably, former chairman of the selectors Dilip Vengsarkar expressed his surprise, saying, “I’m astounded at the omission of Surya, who is currently one of the most talented batsmen in the country, from the teams selected for the Australian tour.” Vengsarkar also said BCCI President Saurav Ganguly should question why Yadav was left out of the Indian squad.

While Team India may yet regret leaving Suryakumar Yadav out of their line-up, Mumbai Indians can enjoy his services in the playoffs, hopefully all the way to the finals.