IPL 2024: Suryakumar Yadav returns to training for beleaguered Mumbai Indians

World No 1 T20 batsman has been recovering from ankle surgery

Surya Kumar Yadav of Mumbai Indians departs during match 10 of season 13 of the Dream 11 Indian Premier League (IPL) between The Royal Challengers Bangalore and The Mumbai Indians held at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai in the United Arab Emirates on the 28th September 2020.  Photo by: Ron Gaunt  / Sportzpics for BCCI
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In a season where hardly anything has gone right for Mumbai Indians, the five-time IPL champions received some much needed positive news as star batsman Suryakumar Yadav returned to training.

Yadav has been out of action since December as he recovers from ankle and hernia surgery. His return was delayed as he continued his rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru. But he has been cleared to join the Mumbai camp and rescue what is turning out to be a disastrous campaign for Hardik Pandya's team.

"Surya came in earlier than the team and spent close to an hour batting in the nets," Mumbai Indians said in a statement.

"Following his long batting session, Surya did some training and mobility drills followed by catching up with his teammates and speaking with Mark Boucher, head coach, and Kieron Pollard, batting coach, during the course of the practice."

While there is no clarity over whether Yadav will be fit enough to play against Delhi Capitals at the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday, his mere presence in the group is likely to lift the mood of the squad.

Yadav is the No 1 T20 batsman in the world and his form will be critical for Mumbai who have lost all three matches so far, with their batting mostly out of touch.

Apart from Tilak Varma, no batsman has put together 100 runs across three innings. In the last game against Rajasthan Royals at home, they could only muster 125-9 batting first.

The return of Yadav should, therefore, offer some stability in the batting department.

Mumbai are badly in need of an uplift after a disastrous start to the IPL on and off the field. They changed captain seemingly out of the blue before the season, bringing in Pandya from Gujarat Titans and replacing India skipper Rohit Sharma.

The abrupt nature of the change has not gone down well with other members of the squad and Mumbai fans. The supporters in particular have made their displeasure clear during matches, booing and even abusing Pandya at every opportunity.

The situation got out of control during the previous game against Rajasthan at Wankhede where former captain Rohit was seen pleading to the crowd, from the boundary rope, to stop the jeering.

Meanwhile, Delhi Capitals wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav has been sidelined by a groin strain and is unlikely to be rushed back in soon.

Kuldeep missed the last two games for Delhi and the team felt his absence as Kolkata smashed a record 272 against them.

Kuldeep is an important member of not only Delhi squad, but the national team as well. He is most likely to be the first-choice spinner at the T20 World Cup in June and his fitness will be closely monitored by the Indian management.

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