As the arch-rivals Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Mumbai Indians (MI) lock horns in IPL 2024 el classico on Sunday evening, former West Indies cricketer Brian Lara heaped praise on MI batter Suryakumar Yadav for his impressive batting on returning from injury layoff. While sharing his insights on the impending showdown between Yadav and CSK spinner Ravindra Jadeja. Lara first commended the Chennai spinner for his exceptional skills, noting that he would rely on slower balls in most encounters. Rohit Sharma Recalls His Viral ‘Garden Mein Ghumo Mat…’ Line As He and Other Mumbai Indians Stars Play Hilarious Letter Game on Sidelines of IPL 2024 (Watch Video).

Speaking on Star Sports Cricket Live, the former West Indies cricketer said, "Yeah, it's a battle, but you know, okay, those are some stats that you pull out. I mean, those are the times when he may have failed, but this guy is in superb form. And I mean, if he wants to succumb to that and say, okay, I'm going to rematch against you later. I've got other guys I can take on. He can do that as well."

"But I believe that the confidence that he's in, whether it's left arm spin or left arm pace, whatever you call it, I think he's going to drop the slower balls for most battles. And when you have to actually put pace on the ball, it's always dicey. You like pace on the ball where you can carve it in different directions," he said.

Additionally, the West Indian emphasised the anticipation of an intriguing battle from Suryakumar, implying that it would be one to watch closely. Missing the first three games for MI after a lengthy layoff caused by an ankle injury and sports hernia surgery, Suryakumar joined the Mumbai squad for the match against Delhi Capitals but was out for a duck.

But the batter returned in top form in the next encounter against Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) and smashed a 19-ball 52, joint second-fastest fifty for MI. Lara was left in awe by the performance of the 33-year-old batter upon his return from a lengthy layoff, noting that he hadn't witnessed shots like that from someone just recovering from an injury. Rohit Sharma in Jovial Mood As He Tries To Drive Mumbai Indians Team Bus, Asks Fans To Move Way; Video Goes Viral.

"But what I saw a couple of days ago from Surya Kumar Yadav is just genius. I think, I've not seen shots like that from a guy who's just coming off an injury, coming off a first-half attack, or at least a zero in the last game. Tremendous. And I think whatever battle will come from Surya Kumar Yadav," added Lara.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Apr 14, 2024 04:13 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website