Gautam Gambhir, former Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) captain, has said that the franchise’s decision to let go of the talented Suryakumar Yadav ahead of the IPL 2018 was their biggest mistake. Suryakumar, who now plies his trade for Mumbai Indians (MI), had been part of the purple and gold from 2014-2017.
Gambhir highlighted that Suryakumar Yadav has gone on to become one of the mainstays for Mumbai Indians and India in the shortest format of the game and that he is at the peak of his prowess now. Yadav was also named in India’s T20 World Cup 2021 squad after making his international debut earlier this year in both white-ball formats.
Suryakumar Yadav began his IPL career with Mumbai Indians in 2012 but played only one match for the 5-time champions before moving To Kolkata Knight Riders in 2014. At KKR, Suryakumar got plenty of game time as he played 54 matches over 4 years. He was also part of KKR’s 2014 IPL win.
“The only regret I have is not pushing Suryakumar Yadav at No. 3. There were players like Manish Pandey and Yusuf Pathan, and so we had to always use him as a finisher. A lot of players go on from one franchise to another. From KKR’s point of view, this has to be KKR’s biggest loss, letting go of Suryakumar Yadav,” Gambhir told Star Sports on Thursday.
“He is someone whom we groomed for four years and then let him go and now he is at the peak of his career. Because we couldn’t give him that position (NO. 3), he was not able to get those 400-500 runs in a season, batting at No. 7.
Someone’s loss is someone else’s massive gain. And that is exactly what happened with Mumbai Indians. KKR let go of him and now he has become a mainstay of MI’s batting line-up,” he added.
Suryakumar has turned out to be one of the mainstays for the five-time IPL champions MI scoring over 500 runs in IPL 2018 when he was bought by Rohit Sharma-led team for Rs 3.2 crore. He followed that up with two 400-plus seasons and also opened the innings for them.