Suryakumar Yadav, the new finisher for Team India

For the second time in the limited-overs series against the West Indies, Suryakumar finished a game with a newcomer as the supporting act.

Suryakumar Yadav, the new finisher for Team India.   -  AP

Suryakumar Yadav loves the finisher tag. He wants to remain unbeaten and finish games. The batter played his role to perfection for the second time in the white-ball series against the West Indies.

And he is slowly learning to stitch partnerships with newcomers.

After the right-hander's finishing touch in the first ODI in Ahmedabad with Deepak Hooda on the other side, he repeated the drill with Venkatesh Iyer in the T20I opener at the Eden Gardens on Wednesday. The duo stitched a partnership of 48 runs off 26 balls for the fifth wicket to get the job done.

Both the batters remained unbeaten. Suryakumar scored 34 off 18, while Venkatesh made 24 off 13 after India lost Rishabh Pant with 44 more required off 33 balls.

"I think when he came into bat, he straightaway hit a boundary. I felt that was the perfect platform to have a good partnership and finish the game," Suryakumar told reporters after the six-wicket victory.

Before the home series against West Indies, Suryakumar had a chance to steer India to victory in the third ODI against South Africa in Cape Town in January. He was out for a 32-ball 39, and the men in blue lost the game by four runs in the end. It still hurts the batter who made his T20I debut in March 2021.

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"I think it was important for me to stay till the end. I have been in this situation before, and whenever I got out leaving 20-25 runs behind, I felt bad after going back to the hotel. The situation was perfect tonight," he added.

The 31-year-old seems to be in a good head space under new skipper Rohit Sharma, also his state and IPL team-mate. He believes the senior pro has been leading from the front, and if required, he is also ready to bowl a few overs for his captain as specified ahead of the series.

"I am trying it. Whenever we turn up for practice sessions, we bowl at the nets. We don’t have a lot of bowlers in the end when our bowlers bat. Whenever Rohit needs me, I am there."

Though Suryakumar finished the game, young leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi received the player of the match award for his dream debut (2/17).

"It was a good opportunity for him to play against one of the best T20 sides in the world. He responded well, the way he backed himself and bowled. There was a bit of dew, and it was not easy for the spinners to grip the ball. He executed everything well. And when under pressure, he backed himself with his best ball. It has been a perfect debut for Bishnoi," he said.

Suryakumar expects the West Indies to "come hard" at India in the second game on Friday. "I think they are one of the destructive sides in the world, and we can’t count them down. The second game will be a challenge as it will be the series decider."

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