Suryakumar reaffirmed his status as the world’s number one T20 batsman with another superb effort as India crushed Zimbabwe by 71 runs to seal a T20 World Cup semi-final with England.
“The dugout can be really at ease when he bats and he showed a lot of composure when he batted. We expected that from him and he went from strength to strength,” Rohit said at the post-match presentation ceremony .
Suryakumar went on to blast an unbeaten 61 off 25 balls KL Rahul set it up with a brisk fifty.
In reply to India’s 186 for five, Zimbabwe were bowled out for 115 in 17.2 overs.
“What SKY does for the team is remarkable, just getting out there, playing like that, taking the pressure off the others. We know his ability, and it allows the guy on the other end to bide his time. take,” added Rohit.
Zimbabwe’s batting depth was never enough to challenge the Indian bowlers with Ravichandran Ashwin (3/22) enjoying a good day at the office. In fact, all the other Indian bowlers were under the wickets in one of the most lopsided matches of this world event.
“A very good overall performance, something we were looking for. We qualified but we wanted to come out and play the way we wanted to play, which we achieved.”
Rohit said going into the semi-finals at the Adelaide Oval, the key will be adapting to the conditions quickly.
“The key for us will be to adapt quickly to the conditions. We played a game there, but we have to adapt quickly. England are a good team, and it will be a great game.
“First of all we have to be proud of qualifying and if we play well in that semi-final we have another big game as well. It’s about understanding the lines and lengths – the square boundaries are shorter – and being good to execute.
“The fans have been brilliant all this time, almost everywhere we went we had a full house, and we expect the same in the semi-finals. On behalf of the team, I want to thank them very much.”
While the cricketing world may be in awe of his game, Player of the Match Suryakumar said he does not try anything else, and just tries to execute what he does during practice in the match.
“I think the plan was very clear when me and Hardik batted. He said let’s take the positive route and see where we end up. We started hitting the ball well and never stopped until the 20th over. The atmosphere in the team is very nice, and the build up to the knockouts was very nice.
T20 WC: ‘SKY’ stars as India beat Zimbabwe to set up England semi-final
“My plan is always clear. I don’t try anything else. I also bat in the nets in the same way.”
Asked about his performance this year, Suryakumar said, “Feels really good, but to come out and start from scratch is what I always think about when I come out to bat and I will continue to do that. It’s good to seeing people come out and support us like that even after we qualified.”
Zimbabwe captain Craig Ervine said his team deviated from the positive approach that worked well for the team in the first half of the tournament when it also stunned Pakistan.
“I think maybe we could have changed some other plans. Suryakumar was brilliant at the end, denied Richey’s wide yorkers, which was our main plan. We maybe could have changed our pace a bit more there.
“Before the tournament we tried to be positive at the top, but the last 2-3 games we kind of went away from there,” said Ervine.
Zimbabwe conceded as many as 79 runs in the last five overs after taking a couple of wickets.
“The ball swung, but to counter that, we probably could have moved around a little bit, been more proactive.
“We mustn’t forget the work we’ve done to get into the Super 12s. We’ll look to build on that. Our catching hasn’t been as good in the last few games but I know the boys have worked really hard worked on it,” the Zimbabwe captain said.