Suryakumar Yadav’s impeccable batting prowess has lit up India’s T20 World Cup 2022 campaign in Australia.
The 32-year-old, who made his T20I debut in early 2021, has broken the T20I batting charts this year, and the India No. 4 has carried the same vein of form in his second World Cup appearance. On Sunday, the Mumbai batter produced another spectacular display of 360-degree batting during India’s last Super 12 match against Zimbabwe in Melbourne.
Suryakumar, who has struck at an astounding strike-rate of 247.87 in the death-overs in all T20Is in 2022, entered the last four overs against Zimbabwe on 14 off nine balls. The No. 1 ranked T20I batter then smashed eight boundaries - four sixes and as many fours - with a spectacular array of shotmaking over the third-man region and behind the square on the on-side.
Suryakumar said pre-determining bowlers’ lengths in the final overs help him pull off paddle sweeps and scoops for sixes. “You got to understand what the bowler is going to bowl at that time, which is a little pre-determined at that moment. I have practised that stroke a lot when I used to play rubber-ball cricket. So, you got to be thinking what the bowler is thinking at that time and if the field is in, I just back myself to go there,” he said on the Star Sports show ‘Follow the Blues’.
Suryakumar attempted three paddle/scoop/ramp shots during the last four deliveries of India’s innings against Zimbabwe seamer Richard Ngarava and hit two sixes and a four to finish unbeaten on 61 off 25 balls.
“You got to know how long the boundary behind is. When I stand there, I feel it’s just 60-65 meters and with the pace of the ball I just try and time it, take it on the sweet spot of the bat and if it hits, it just goes out there,” he said.
Suryakumar finished the Super 12 stage as the second-leading run-scorer with 225 runs in five matches behind senior teammate Virat Kohli. Suryakumar said his batting and his camaraderie with Kohli in the middle depended on proactive batting from the get-go.
“When I go into bat, I just I just try and look for a few boundaries or even if I don’t get that, I just try and run as hard as possible between wickets. If you have to bat with Virat bhai then you have to run hard as well. But I try and do that, hit it in the gaps and run hard. But I know what strokes I need to play at that time. I try and play lot of percentage cricket. My strokes are sweeps, over cover, and cuts, if I am succeeding in that, I just take the game ahead from there,” Suryakumar added.
India will now face England in its first T20 World Cup semifinal appearance since 2016 at the Adelaide Oval on Thursday.