"Our team has been happy to provide that platform for players": Zaheer Khan
Mumbai Indians Director of Cricket Zaheer Khan reveals how the franchise is focused on providing deserving players a platform
The key to Suryakumar Yadav's instant success in international cricket is a great attitude and being surrounded by the right kind of people until the time the India call-up eluded him, feels Mumbai Indians Director of Cricket Operations Zaheer Khan.
Even after a stupendous last IPL for MI, Suryakumar didn't make it to the Australia tour but grabbed his opportunity with three great knocks in the T20 Internationals against England. "With Surya, what stands out is his consistency in the last three IPLs, and domestic circuit as well. He is someone who thoroughly deserved this chance and he has worked very hard, and at times you have to be patient, at times opportunity doesn't come even when you are performing," Zaheer said during an interaction "Twitter Space With Zak" organised by the Mumbai Indians.
"That's something that was happening with Surya and he managed himself very well. ...And people around him also have been telling him that you have to be patient and just keep doing what you have been doing and it showed in his approach when he started.
"It was like a dream coming true and he grabbed the opportunity with both hands, and showed how determined he was to make it to that level, and win matches for India."
Mumbai Indians, during these years, have provided a large number of top white-ball players which included national team vice-captain Rohit Sharma, Pandya brothers Hardik and Krunal, pacer Jasprit Bumrah, Surya, Ishan Kishan to name a few. "It's a proud feeling that your players are representing India at the highest level, doing so well. All the players that we (MI) have, all of them have contributed and Surya has been waiting for his opportunity for the longest time. Ishan and Krunal who made his ODI debut having played a great Vijay Hazare tournament," the former left-arm speedster said.
"He (Surya) got his reward for all the hard work and all these players are exciting talents. As cricketers, you always want to play at the highest level, in some way or the other, IPL has been that platform. Our team has been happy to provide that platform for players to take advantage," he added.
Among the new players coming, Zaheer is excited to talk about tall South African pacer Marco Jansen, who as a net bowler had dismissed Virat Kohli during the tour of 2013-14. "Marco is someone who we are really looking forward to having in the team. Exciting talent. He is very tall and can contribute with the bat as well, so he will add that dimension to us. When you see someone so tall, able to extract extra bounce and that's the exciting part," he said.
He also spoke about Jammu and Kashmir pacer Yudhveer Singh, who was spotted by MI's talent scout team. "Yudhveer was someone who was part of the support team last year as well when we were in the UAE. So we have kept up with the tradition of finding young talent, backing them, supporting them, help them evolve as a cricketer."
This year, while the IPL is being held in India, no franchise is currently playing at home. "Every year is different and they call it Cluster Caravan format. It's like bubble starting with the camp in Mumbai and then going to Chennai, then Delhi for us followed by Bengaluru and Kolkata."