Gautam Gambhir feels Kolkata Knight Riders made a huge mistake by not retaining Suryakumar Yadav. Praising the right-hand batsman, former KKR skipper Gambhir said that a talent like him is extremely hard to let go. He added that apart from batting, the Mumbai cricketer brings in good leadership qualities, which prompted him to make Suryakumar the vice-captain of KKR during his stint there.
“You’ve got to criticize some of the franchise as well. Suryakumar Yadav is not easily earned by Mumbai Indians. It’s probably the biggest loss KKR has ever had in 13 years,” Gambhir said in a live interaction on ESPNcricinfo.
“Someone who was young came into KKR played for 4 years obviously couldn’t get the number where he should have batted at because of whatever batting lineup we had at that time. Manish Pandey was batting at number 3, but he was batting at number 6 or 7. But then, KKR could have easily built a side around Suryakumar Yadav. He was the Vice-Captain when I was leaving the side. Made him the vice-captain so there’s an easy transition. I could see the leadership quality which SKY had,” Gambhir said.
“The kind of form he was in, I should have sacrificed my wicket for Surya.” – Rohit Sharma on Suryakumar Yadav’s run-out https://t.co/nxXOzCvdQs
— Express Sports (@IExpressSports) November 11, 2020
Gambhir said the batsman always stepped forward to help the team in any possible manner. He never declined from batting lower down the order in KKR, and Gambhir thinks it speaks volume of his character.
“Very selfless guy – you make him bat at number 6 or you make him bat at number 7, he can bat at any number, there will never be a long phase that yes you wanted bat at number 3. That is the kind of players you want. That is the kind of culture built-in Mumbai Indians. For me, the biggest loss KKR has ever had is letting SKY go because you don’t get Indians players with that kind of talent,” Gambhir added.
— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) November 10, 2020
Before joining MI in 2018, Suryakumar spent four seasons with KKR. However, Surya’s stint with KKR was rather a moderate one where he could only manage 608 runs. However, since his inclusion in MI camp, the batsman has shown great character and has proved to be a great asset for his side.
Suryakumar piled up 512 runs in his first season with MI and then added 424 in the following season. In the campaign, the 30-year-old was instrumental in Mumbai’s success, as he emerged as the third-highest scorer of the side. Batting at an average of 40, Suryakumar amassed 480 runs in 15 innings, which included four half-centuries.