IND v NZ, 2nd T20I: Was really important for me to bat till the end, says Suryakumar Yadav

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Sun, 20/11/2022
IND v NZ, 2nd T20I: Was really important for me to bat till the end, says Suryakumar Yadav
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Rishabh Pant, the wicketkeeper, was overheard muttering "unbelievable" in the right-handed batter Suryakumar Yadav's ear as the mid-innings interview with the broadcasters came to an end.

Pant was simply reiterating the emotions felt by the sold-out Bay Oval crowd in Mount Maunganui and Indian fans after seeing Suryakumar's incredible T20I batting mastery in the second game of the current series against New Zealand.

Suryakumar, the top-ranked T20I batter, hit 11 fours and seven sixes all over the park at a strike rate of 217.65 to be unbeaten on 111 off 51 balls, his second T20I century, on a slow pitch where nearly all Indian batters found it difficult to time the ball.

"In T20 cricket a hundred is always very special, but it was also really important for me to bat till the end. It was important to maximise the last few overs. Have been doing the same things over and over again, in the nets and it's just coming off for me," said Suryakumar.

Earlier in July, Suryakumar struck his first T20I century through an astonishing 117 against England at Trent Bridge, Nottingham. In T20Is in 2022, Suryakumar is leading the run-charts in the format, amassing 1151 runs, averaging 47.95 and at a strike-rate of 188.37.

Suryakumar, the top-ranked T20I batter, had recently lit up Men's T20 World Cup in Australia, slamming 239 runs at an outstanding average of 59.75 and whopping strike-rate of 189.68, including match-tempo changing fifties against South Africa, Zimbabwe and Netherlands.

His 82-run stand off 41 balls with captain Hardik Pandya was the main driving force behind India posting 191/6 in 20 overs. "Hardik told me that we needed a score of 190-195 and happy we got there. We had a word in the end of the 16th over that we wanted to take it deep with only Hooda and Washington to follow," added Suryakumar.

Suryakumar has experienced a meteoric rise since making his international debut for India in the T20I series against England in Ahmedabad last year. In July, he will make his ODI debut against Sri Lanka in Colombo. Although Suryakumar averages 34 in ODIs, his T20I exploits, where he has scored 1395 runs, including two hundreds and 12 fifties, have garnered most of the attention.