Suryakumar Yadav who finally got a place in Team India for the T20 series against England will be hoping that he does not let the selectors down.
Yadav, who is 30 years old, has been knocking on their doors for the last three years, scoring consistently for his franchise Mumbai Indians in the IPL as well as for his state in the white-ball format.
He has scored 400 plus runs for Mumbai Indians in the last three seasons and has been instrumental in the team’s back-to-back titles in 2019 and 2020. His performance was so good that the Indian selectors tasted the wrath of his fans when he was not picked for the T20 series against Australia which was held right after the IPL. After his non-selection, Ravi Shastri, the head coach, tweeted: ‘stay strong and patient. The great Sachin Tendulkar told him: "This is your final hurdle, surrender yourself to the game."
His coach Chandrakant Pandit said he is mentally tough now and his selection is not a punt but a reward for churning out big scores, season after season.
Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma advised him to relax and enjoy being part of the Indian team, rather than thinking too much and putting himself under pressure.
It is easier said than done. Could he remain as relaxed as he is playing for Mumbai Indians when he plays for Team India, in the iconic Motera Stadium with a crowd of more than 55,000 cheering for him?
It will be tough and he will be challenged every now and then but that's what international cricket is all about. But mind you, Surya has shown solid temperament while playing in front of the vociferous crowd at the Wankhede Stadium for a franchise like Mumbai Indians, which expects nothing but the best out of every player.
Will the sun shine on Suryakumar Yadav? We shall get to know in the next ten days. Your guess is as good as mine!