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IPL 2023: MI lifted in second half due to SKY impact

IPL 2023: Mumbai Indians lifted in second half due to SKY impact. Suryakumar Yadav scored 66 runs off first 5 games and in next 9 games, he scored 420 runs including 4 fifties and 1 hundred.

IPL 2023, MI vs GT, Top Performances_ Suryakumar Yadav's 103 off 49 helps MI beat GT; MI move to 3rd place in table _ Walking wicket (Images_ ©BCCI_Twitter)
Suryakumar's 103 off 49 helps MI beat GT (Images: ©BCCI/Twitter)

Suryakumar Yadav’s batting has experienced new highs and new lows in this season of IPL. It is fair to conclude that the 32-year-old player has had a topsy-turvy ride with the bat. Being one of the most experienced batters in the Mumbai Indians side, SKY could not live up to expectations of being an explosive batter that he was so widely renowned for in the initial phase of the tournament. He came into IPL with a significant amount of pressure on his shoulders.

SKY had a forgettable start to IPL 2023

Surya endured a terrible outing with the bat in the home ODI series against Australia just prior to the commencement of IPL. His inability to not being able to open his account in that series would have troubled him big time.

In the first five games of the season, SKY looked very rusty and was unable to get his feet going as he could only accumulate 66 runs at a shocking average of 13.2. He was dismissed for a single digit score on three occasions which also featured a golden duck against Delhi Capitals. Besides, his strike rate was also in shambles hovering around the 110 mark which was an immense sign of worry for MI. The Mumbai-based franchise lost a lot of hard-fought games upfront due to SKY’s lacklustre show with the bat.

Surya picked up his game in the second half

The situation was grim but in the latter half of the tournament, his fortunes changed as he sprung back to life. Surya backed his batting abilities and played some dazzling cameos to lift his side from hopeless situations. In the next games, Yadav scored at an exhilarating pace and registered four half-centuries and one swashbuckling century where he decimated a dominant GT bowling line up. His scintillating ton (103 off 49) powered MI to a landslide victory at Wankhede as they were able to post a huge total which was way beyond GT’s reach. During this innings, Yadav tore the GT bowling line up apart and smashed 11 fours and 6 sixes. He was using his feet nicely, picked his gaps well and used the long handle to perfection when he saw the ball in his range. These were some of his standout features in his batting.

Yadav also played a match-winning knock of 83 (35) against RCB where MI completed a record chase in just under 17 overs pushing their NRR to a very strong position. It was all made possible by Surya’s heroics as he unraveled all the shots in the book and literally toyed with the RCB bowling attack. He scored all around the park and smashed 7 fours and 6 sixes at an astronomical strike rate of over 230. RCB bowlers had a very forgettable day during this fixture as they were decimated by Surya’s extraordinary stroke play and struggled to stem the flow of runs. Bowlers had no answer to his innovative ramp shot and his crafty wrist work which saw the ball disappear to all parts.

Apart from the big innings, Yadav also played a few quickfire cameos which had a tremendous bearing on the impact of the game. When the chips were down during the 49th match of the IPL against CSK, MI top-order faltered badly as they were reduced to 14-3 inside 3 overs. Although MI went on to lose that game, his timely resurrection in the form of 26 (22) helped MI post a face saving total 139. His return to form proved very rewarding for the MI side as they were able to chase record 200-plus scores against RR and PBKS riding along his sensational knocks of 55 (29) and 66 (31), respectively.

IPL 2023, MI vs RCB, Top Performances_ Suryakumar Yadav scored 83 off 35 balls against RCB; MI beat RCB _ Walking wicket (Images_ ©BCCI_Twitter)
SKY 83 off 35 balls against RCB (Images: ©BCCI/Twitter)
Yadav needs to fire for MI to enter playoffs

It is not the volume of runs that matter in the shortest format, but it is the impactful innings that does. Ever since he made his comeback in the second half of the season, Yadav has played some lightning cameos at a very astounding strike rate which really turned things around for MI during the middle overs. Mumbai Indians went on to win those games where Mr 360 has shined with the bat. His current form with the bat is absolutely crucial for Mumbai’s chances of making it to the playoffs. The Mumbai-based franchise started off on a disastrous note losing the first two games by colossal margins.

But Surya’s magic with the blade has instilled a new sense of hope in the Mumbai camp as they find themselves in a good position to enter the playoffs stage. Although their defeat against LSG in their last fixture would have dented their hopes a fraction, MI are still well placed in the points table with just one win away from sealing their playoffs spot. MI would be counting on Suryakumar Yadav to fire in the upcoming crucial fixture that would bring them ever so close to their sixth title.

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