The Triumph Knights captain reveals how trusting his teammates and building good was the secret to their success last season.ttmum
“If you trust someone on the field, then you can do anything,” states Suryakumar Yadav, giving us an insight into his captaincy techniques. “There should be no room for egos or grudges.”
It’s little wonder that Yadav led Triumph Knights Mumbai North East to the title in the inaugural T20 Mumbai season, bouncing back from adverse positions at least thrice in the league to seal the deal.
“The most important for a team to be a champion is for teammates to know each other well,” he emphasises. “So, keeping that in mind, we started practicing together even before the tournament had started, around two session a day.
“We used to go together to eat dinners, play games and go for the pool sessions together. We even went for a walk together to Nariman Point, just to have fun and keep everyone together and relaxed,” he recalls. “No one actually went back home during the tournament, not even those who had their houses just ten minutes away from our team hotel.”
Yadav’s captaincy principles were tested to the fullest in the final of the inaugural T20 Mumbai, when his side were reeling at 34/5 when he stepped out to bat. However, he remained true to his nature, forging a partnership of 148 runs which helped his side post 182.
“I was just thinking to go out there and enjoy my cricket. I knew there were two players after me, two match-winners in Aditya Dhumal and Akash Parkar who had won me the first game. I knew that if I fail, they can do it as well,” explained Yadav, alluding to the trust he had been referring to.
This ability to trust the batsman below him helped the 28-year-old play his natural, aggressive brand of cricket as he smashed a staggering 90 runs off just 42 deliveries.
Despite that strong knock, their opponents in the final, Shivaji Park Lions, were in the hunt right until the end, needing 26 off the last over with the explosive Shivam Dube still in the middle. Dube smashed three sixes and a boundary off the final over to reduce the deficit to four runs off the last delivery. However, it was the Triumph Knights bowler Shashank Singh who had the last laugh, bowling a dot ball off that final delivery to help his side to the title.
“Shashank came running to me out of nowhere and asked to bowl that last over. Considering the scoreboard, I said okay but since Shivam was on strike, I knew the game is going to the last 2-3 balls,” Yadav says. “And before that final delivery, I just asked Shashank what his plan and he was like, ‘Just trust me. If this works, it works.’ That’s all what he said, and he bowled that bouncer and the rest in history.”