Vacations can wait as Suryakumar Yadav savours his Test debut with family
India’s latest Test debutants Suryakumar Yadav and KS Bharat’s families talk about watching them live on their first day in India whites
Having had an outstanding white-ball season, Suryakumar Yadav — the No 1 T20 batter in the world — and his family were planning a well-deserved vacation. But he had to put off his plans for the time being.
Yadav was named in a 17-member India Test squad picked to play against Australia in the Border Gavaskar Trophy. And on Thursday, Yadav became the 305th player to represent India in Tests.
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Yadav was part of an India Test squad in the past— as an additional backup in England in 2021 — but didn’t make the playing XI. Yadav, for all his flair, was seen as a left-field choice in Tests. “I used to wonder ‘Where’s his place in the XI’?” said Yadav’s wife Devisha, herself an ardent follower of the game, and who has been his biggest motivator.
“I am glad things worked out. It’s so great to see him play in whites,” she said while watching Day 1 action at the VCA stadium. “It’s OK that it’s come late when he’s 32. He’s worked hard and it’s paying off.”
When Yadav had to endure a decade-long wait to break into international cricket, Devisha kept egging him on. “I used to ask him if people who began playing after you have gone on to play for India, why aren’t you able to make it? He wouldn’t like it when I said that because it would hurt him,” she said. “But I wanted us to find out what was missing. It was small things like sleeping on time, having a schedule. I started telling him to follow a routine. You can’t be chilling till late and go for practice in the morning. If you have the talent, why don’t give it the extra push. Then, if it’s meant to happen, it will,” said Devisha.
Yadav’s parents were also watching their son’s first day in India whites. “It’s the ultimate format. We are very happy to be here,” said father Ashok Kumar Yadav, who works at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre.
“He told us only yesterday. Thankfully, Mumbai-Nagpur connectivity is very good so we could make it. His T20I debut in Ahmedabad was during the pandemic and his ODI debut was in Sri Lanka where we could not go,” the senior Yadav said.
Bharat’s family also in attendance
Like Yadav, fellow debutant KS Bharat’s parents, sister and wife were also present in Nagpur. Both the proud families were invited for a pre-match photo-op with the newest India Test cap holders. “Bharat and all of us have waited for this moment for very long. It feels very special,” his wife Anjali said. She was thrilled to see her husband pull off a lightning quick stumping to dismiss Marnus Labuschagne.
Yadav’s father says he will have to miss out watching him bat on Day 2 for office commitments. But he will catch the action between meetings.