Former Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Gautam Gambhir has said that letting go Suryakumar Yadav was the biggest mistake of KKR in the last 13 years. Gambhir seems correct in his assessment as Suryakumar played an important role in helping Mumbai Indians win Indian Premier League 2020.
The middle-order batsman was with KKR between 2014 and 2017 and was even named as the vice-captain of the team. Gambhir said that the KKR should have retained Suryakumar and have tried to built a team around him.
“Suryakumar Yadav is not easily earned by Mumbai Indians. He’s probably the biggest loss that KKR has ever had in 13 years. Someone who was young, came into KKR, played for four years, obviously couldn’t get the number where he should have batted at because of the batting line up we had at that time,” Gambhir told ESPNCricinfo.
“Manish Pandey was batting at No. 3 but he was batting at No. 6 or 7. KKR could have easily built around Suryakumar Yadav. He was the vice-captain when I was leading the side. Made him the vice-captain so that there was easy transition. I could see that leadership quality with Surya. Very selfless guy, you make him bat at No. 6 or 7. He can bat at any number. There will never be a phase where he’d like to bat at 3. And that is the kind of players you want,” Gautam Gambhir added.
Gambhir noted that it is not easy to find an Indian talent like Suryakuma and it is likely that the 30-year-old batsman would lead Mumbai Indians in the future.
“Probably the biggest loss till now. Yes, players have moved from one franchise to another. Chris Gayle went to some other franchise and there are many other players. But probably for me the biggest loss till now KKR is ever had is probably letting go Suryakumar Yadav because you don’t get Indian players with that kind of talent,” Gambhir added.
“We still haven’t seen his leadership quality. He’s got a great head on his shoulder. He knows how to lead a side. Going forward, I’m sure Surya will take charge of this side if he stays with Mumbai Indians,” Gambhir noted.
Notably, Suryakumar scored 480 runs in IPL 2020 with an average of 40.00 and strike-rate of 145.01. He had scored 512 runs in IPL 2018 and 424 runs in IPL 2019.