India captain Hardik Pandya on Saturday said with each innings the rampaging Suryakumar Yadav has been telling his teammates that “batting is so easy”.
The 32-year-old Suryakumar produced yet another scintillating knock - an unbeaten 112 off 51 balls - as India crushed Sri Lanka by 91 runs in the series-deciding third T20 International here for a 2-1 series win.
“I think he has been surprising everyone every innings that he is batting. He is just telling us that batting is so easy. If I were bowling to him, I’d be disheartened on seeing his batting, with the shots he plays. He has played blinders after blinders,” Pandya said at the presentation ceremony.
Suryakumar took over after Rahul Tripathi blazed away to a 16-ball 35, and Pandya was also full of praise for the latter.
“Special mention to Rahul Tripathi - the ball was doing something but he showed great intent. Then SKY (Suryakumar Yadav) did his thing.”
When asked if he has ever given advice to Suryakumar, Hardik said, “You don’t need to tell him anything, he knows what to do. If there is any situation where he is unsure, we have our chats but more often than not, he knows what to do.”
Thanks to Suryakumar’s blazing knock, India posted an imposing 228 for five. The host then bowled out Sri Lank for 137. While left-arm spinning all-rounder Axar Patel went wicket-less on Saturday, he played his part with the bat, scoring 21 off just nine balls.
“I’m really proud of him (Axar), the way he is batting down the order and hitting. This will give a lot of confidence to him and the team as well,” Hardik said.
The skipper added, “My motto in life as captain has been that I’ll back my players. These are the best T20 cricketers in India and that’s why they are here. There is no space for doubting in this format and we’re backing the players properly. The way we played in the series is pleasing, we didn’t even play 50 percent of our game in the second game but we still fought well.”
Player-of-the-Match Suryakumar said he tried to put himself under pressure while preparing for a game.
“It is really important to put pressure on yourself when you are preparing for the game. The more pressure you put, the better you can play. There is a lot of hard work involved. Some quality practice sessions are also involved,” Suryakumar said.
He added, “The boundaries (here) behind were 59-60m, so I tried to clear them. There are a few shots that are pre-determined but you have to be ready for other strokes as well. Most of the time, I try to find the gap, and use the field to my advantage.”
While he was disappointed with the overall result, Sri Lanka captain Dasun Shanaka said he is “happy with my own performance”.
“Before coming here, I was not in top form, but I am very happy with my own performance. The way the boys played the tournament, there were a lot of positives. The players have improved a lot. Good to see them playing well.”
Asked about not bowling enough, Shanaka said, “Coming into the series, I had a finger injury, so I did not bowl enough. Hopefully, I will bowl more in the ODIs. I want to keep the boys relaxed on the field, but while batting it is a different game.”
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