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Suryakumar Yadav shows why he is so special

Impact of SKY’s knock was such that a little bit of sloppiness from some of the bowlers didn’t hurt India
Suryakumar Yadav during his unbeaten 68 off 26 balls against Hong Kong, as wicketkeeper Scott McKechnie watches on.
Suryakumar Yadav during his unbeaten 68 off 26 balls against Hong Kong, as wicketkeeper Scott McKechnie watches on.
AP/PTI

Sayak Banerjee   |   Calcutta   |   Published 01.09.22, 03:05 AM

Last Sunday against Pakistan, he couldn’t take India home with young Naseem Shah’s sheer pace getting the better of him. However on Wednesday, when India again needed him, Suryakumar Yadav played a perfect knock that laid the foundation for India’s 40-run win over Hong Kong in Dubai. Courtesy this win, India join Afghanistan in the Super Fours of this Asia Cup.

In reply to India’s 192 for 2, thanks largely to Suryakumar’s carnage in the slog overs, Hong Kong could manage only 152 for 5. The impact of Suryakumar’s knock was such that a little bit of sloppiness from some of the bowlers didn’t hurt India.

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Later, even Virat Kohli, for the first time since the 2016 T20 World Cup, was given an over to bowl with India having practically wrapped up the game by then. Such a formidable total from India in this Group A clash didn’t quite look possible till “SKY”, as Suryakumar is popularly called, arrived in the middle. Opener KL Rahul and Kohli (59 not out off 44 balls) weren’t really able to create pressure on the rival bowlers during their 56-run second wicket stand after Hong Kong won the toss and opted to bowl. Captain Rohit Sharma didn’t look comfortable either, falling for a 13-ball 21.

Rahul’s stay out there, which at times looked close to painstaking, ended when he edged behind off leg-spinner Mohammad Ghazanfar’s bowling. In came Suryakumar and he was on the ball right from the outset. Beginning his knock with crunching sweeps to the fine leg and square leg regions, shots flowed from his bat on all sides of the wicket as he literally toyed with the rival bowling, something more illustrious names in this Indian batting order couldn’t.

When Rahul departed, India were 94 for 2 in 13 overs. The situation wasn’t ideal for Suryakumar to go all guns blazing right from the first ball. But he did exactly so and therein lies his speciality. India made one change in their XI, resting all-rounder Hardik Pandya and bringing Rishabh Pant into the XI.

But the way Suryakumar batted with Kohli looking much sharper after he was joined by the former, Pant got no chance to bat. By smashing six huge sixes — four of them in the final over — and as many fours, 60 of Suryakumar’s 68 runs came off boundaries. It simply underlines his ability to impose himself when in rhythm. 

Kohli’s effort

The unbeaten 59 after a rather scratchy 35 in the tournament opener versus Pakistan last Sunday should make Kohli feel better going into the tougher battles ahead. But he found his fluency only after the acceleration from Suryakumar.

However, two of his three sixes came during the closing overs. An unbeaten 50-odd should help a batsman going through an extended lean patch.



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