File photo of Suryakumar Yadav© X (formerly Twitter)

In a big boost for struggling Mumbai Indians, world number one T20 batter Suryakumar Yadav trained with the team on Friday after a long injury layoff and unleashed his trademark shots without any visible discomfort, raising hopes that he could compete in the team’s next IPL match against Delhi Capitals. Five-time champions Mumbai Indians are languishing at the bottom of the 10-team table, having lost all three matches so far and if Suryakumar plays, the Hardik Pandya-led team will hope that his presence helps them with the anticipated turnaround. The 33-old aggressive batter has been out of action since January. He underwent a surgery to treat sports hernia and was also nursing an ankle injury which he had sustained during India’s tour of South Africa late last year.

Suryakumar was the first to arrive for the training session at the Wankhede Stadium, more than an hour before his teammates came for the afternoon session.

Suryakumar walked into one of the two nets and batted for more than an hour, not looking to exert himself but getting his body in rhythm and getting his strokes going a few days after he was given the clearance to join the Mumbai Indians’ squad by the National Cricket Academy (NCA) staff.

The right-handed batter unleashed strokes in all parts of the ground while batting against throwdown specialists and MI spinner Kumar Kartikeya. He hit the ball exactly the way he wanted, middling most of his strokes and also practiced his trademark flick shot over the fine-leg region.

The team is coming off a short break after taking a trip to Jamnagar following its third straight loss in the ongoing tournament, the last one being a six-wickets defeat Rajasthan Royals on April 1.

Meanwhile, in the adjacent nets, Delhi Capitals and Australia batter David Warner had a long hit among the others. Mumbai’s Ranji Trophy bowler Mohit Awasthi was also seen bowling to the Delhi Capitals’ batters during their training.

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