Nagraj Gollapudi is news editor at ESPNcricinfo
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Suryakumar Yadav is set to miss to Mumbai Indians' opening match of the IPL, which will be against Delhi Capitals on March 27. ESPNcricinfo has learned that the 31-year-old, who picked up a hairline fracture on his thumb on February 22 in the final match of the T20 series against West Indies, is yet to be released by the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru, where he has been in rehab for the past few weeks.
"Surya is at NCA at the moment. He is recovering well. He'll be here soon. I can't give his availability right now, whether he will be available for the first game or not. But, yeah, we are trying to get him here as soon as possible once we have the clearance from NCA," Mumbai's captain Rohit Sharma said.
Suryakumar's absence is a significant loss for Mumbai, who have no other specialist Indian international in their batting order apart from captain Rohit Sharma and the biggest buy of the February auction Ishan Kishan.
Since he was bought in 2019, Suryakumar has played a pivotal role as a top-order batter for Mumbai. While the five-time champions failed to make the knockouts last season, Suryakumar continued to flourish. He was their second-leading run-scorer with a tally of 317 at a strike rate of 143.43 and an average of 22. With his ability to float around the batting order, and, importantly accelerate from the time he arrives to the crease, Suryakumar has become a key batter for both Mumbai and India.