Cricket-Suryakumar's IPL blitz eases comeback concerns ahead of T20 World Cup

  • Cricket
  • Friday, 12 Apr 2024

FILE PHOTO: Cricket - ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 - India Practice - Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium, Dharamsala, India - October 21, 2023 India's Suryakumar Yadav during practice REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Mumbai Indians batter Suryakumar Yadav blew away the cobwebs with a rapid fifty in Thursday's Indian Premier League (IPL) match to ease India's concerns over his return to action ahead of the T20 World Cup in June.

The top ranked batter in T20 Internationals, Suryakumar missed Mumbai's first three matches of the season as he completed his recovery from an ankle injury and a sports hernia operation.

The 33-year-old is virtually assured of his place in the India squad for the T20 World Cup in the U.S. and West Indies but was out for a duck in his first match of the season against Delhi Capitals on Sunday.

Suryakumar was back in his element in Thursday's home match against Royal Challengers Bengaluru, however, smashing 52 off 19 balls in a knock that included four sixes.

After Jasprit Bumrah (5-21) had restricted Bengaluru to 196-8, Mumbai took charge as Ishan Kishan (69) and Rohit Sharma (38) plundered 101 runs inside nine overs.

"Chasing (around) 200 at the Wankhede, it's important to know if there is any dew factor," Suryakumar said after Mumbai cruised to a seven-wicket victory with 27 balls to spare.

"If it is, you got to take your chances and that's what we did today.

"When we passed the 10th over, the game was all set by Ishan and Rohit. We knew we had to finish early for that net run-rate thing."

Suryakumar's display of unorthodox shotmaking included a scoop from outside the off-stump that raced to the fine leg boundary and a sliced six off Reece Topley over deep point.

"I practise these shots a lot, it's in my muscle memory now," he said.

Bumrah's sublime bowling saw him named player of the match and Suryakumar is happy they are on the same side.

"It's been two to three years that I've never batted against Jasprit in the nets," Suryakumar said of his Mumbai and India team mate.

"Either he breaks my bat, or my foot."

(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Peter Rutherford)

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