Suresh, the make or break man

S. Suresh Kumar is an enigma. There are days when he can whip up displays of iridescent brilliance. And he can be flat and listless on other occasions.

Which Suresh Kumar will turn up at the park, no one knows. When in the mood, like he was at the India Cements ground here on Wednesday, the all-rounder can swing games in a hurry.

Suresh Kumar’s blitzkrieg (an unbeaten 45) including a brace of sixes in the final over took Ruby Tiruchi Warriors over the line in a TNPL cliffhanger against Dindigul Dragons.

He is 33, and as he confesses, doesn’t want to dwell on the disappointments of the past. His Ranji record of 660 runs at 26.40 and 40 wickets bowling off-spin at 25.40 does not quite reflect his ability.

Lovely batsman

Suresh Kumar said to
The Hindu
on Thursday, “I want to make the most of what is left in my career. I want to bring consistency into my game.”

A lovely, languid batsman with softs hands and deft touch — he does essay old-fashioned shots such as the late-cut going deep into the crease — and a natural off-spinner with an easy action and some zip off the surface, he offers much to his team.

Suresh Kumar has got a cricketing mind that ticks too. Looking back at the dramatic final stages of the TNPL season opener, he revealed, “I knew Mohammed was going to pitch short. The square-leg boundary was long and the batsman had to hit against a strong wind blowing in from that direction too. It was a trap.”

The mercurial Suresh Kumar, however, comprehended he had to take calculated risks at that stage. “I had to back my ability and still go for the pull. It depended on how I executed the shot.”

He pulled Mohammed for two sixes and Tiruchi Warriors, against the odds, was home.

Suresh Kumar has made minor adjustments to his game for this format. “My bottom hand is holding the bat firmer and it gives me greater power on the on-side.”

As the tournament progresses, Suresh Kumar could do more damage.

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