Suryakumar Yadav and Gautam Gambhir. Photo- Twitter
Suryakumar Yadav and Gautam Gambhir. Photo- Twitter

Not identifying Suryakumar Yadav’s potential remains his only regret of seven years as Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) captain, Gautam Gambhir revealed. Gambhir is currently the mentor of the KKR team which became the first to qualify for the playoffs in IPL 2024.

Suryakumar Yadav, meanwhile plays for Mumbai Indians, which was the first team to be eliminated from the race for playoffs in IPL 2024.

Suryakumar Yadav has become synonymous with the Mumbai Indians over the years, emerging as not just a significant member in the batting lineup, but also as a future franchise captain, during his remarkable career beginning in 2018.

His efforts at MI enabled him break into the Indian white-ball team and climb to the top of the IC batting rankings in the format. However, the same Suryakumar was a member of the Kolkata Knight Riders from 2014 until 2017, before being released.

Suryakumar began his IPL career in 2012, playing just one match with the Mumbai Indians before getting discharged the following year.

“Me and KKR never managed to use Suryakumar Yadav to the best of his potential” – Gautam Gambhir

KKR signed him in 2014, and he won the title in his first season there. Over the course of his four-year tenure with the team, the right-handed batter scored 608 runs in 54 games, the majority of which came as a lower middle order batter.

Gambhir acknowledged that not recognizing Suryakumar’s potential or the optimum batting position in the lineup was his biggest regret as KKR captain.

“A leader’s role is to identify the best potential and show it to the world. If there is one regret I have in my seven years of captaincy is that me and as a team never managed to use Suryakumar Yadav to the best of his potential. And the reason was down to combinations,” Gambhir told Sportskeeda.

“You can only play one player at No. 3. And as a leader, you have to think about the other 10 players in the XI as well. He would have been way more effective at No. 3, but was equally good at No. 7,” he added.

Gambhir further hailed Suryakumar as a team player, explaining why he was named as the team vice-captain in 2015.

“He was also a team man. Anyone can be a good player, but being a team man is a difficult task. Whether you play him at No. 6 or 7 or bench him, he was always smiling and always ready to perform for the team. That is why we appointed him as the vice-captain,” he added.

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