Suryakumar Yadav made a scintillating fifty in India’s second match of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 against the Netherlands, powering them to what turned out to be a match-winning total. Suryakumar blazed away to a 25-ball half-century, an innings featuring seven fours and a six.
In fact their were three half-centurions in India’s innings including captain Rohit Sharma who made 53 off 39 and Virat Kohli, who top-scored with 62 off 44. However, it was the Suryakumar who was chosen as the player of the match as India recorded a 56-run win to go at the top of the Group 2 points table.
During a post-match interaction, former India allrounder and head coach Ravi Shastri backed Suryakumar to represent the country in all three formats of the game and said he can surprise a few in red-ball cricket.
“I think he (Suryakumar Yadav) is a three format player,” Shastri said. “I know they don’t talk about him for Test cricket. He’s a three format player. This guy can play Test cricket. And he can surprise a few. Send him there at number 5, let him stir it up.”
Suryakumar made his India debut during Shastri’s reign as the head coach.
The 32-year-old recalled how Shastri told him to just bat freely ahead of his debut. “I still remember he (Shastri) called me up. He was sitting by the pool side before me making the debut and said ‘Jaake bindaas Dena’ (Go Enjoy Yourself). I still remember that. I am just loving it,” he said.
SKY played 13 ODIs and 36 T20Is for India since making his debut in March 2021.
He has tasted limited success in one-day internationals scoring 340 runs in 12 innings at 34 including two fifties. However, he has been excellent T20Is with 1111 runs n 34 innings at a strike-rate of 177.47 alongside a century and 10 half-centuries.