However, Dravid gave a rare glimpse into the methods and processes that turned Suryakumar into the world’s No. 1 T20 batter. “That’s why he’s the No. 1 T20 player, because of that consistency. It’s not easy to be consistent with the kind of strike rates he’s going at. It’s just fantastic how he plays. He was very clear about his processes. He is very clear about his tactics.”
Suryakumar became the first batsman to score more than 1,000 runs in T20Is this year, with a barely believable strike rate of 186.54 in 28 innings. Sunday’s knock was his third half-century in this World Cup alone. “He worked very hard,” Dravid said. “One of the things about Surya is just the amount of hard work he’s put into the nets to think about his game, his fitness.
“When I look at Surya from a few years ago, just to see (now) how he takes care of his body and the amount of time he spends on his fitness. . . he just really deserves the reward for a lot of the hard work he has put in on and off the field. Long may it continue. He was absolutely phenomenal for us. He is a joy to watch. It is a pleasure to watch him bat when he is in that kind of form. It’s like he puts on a show every time,” Dravid gushed.
Surya himself told the official broadcasters, “You have to start from scratch every time, that’s what I think. My plan has always been very clear: I do the same thing in the nets. I practice the same shots. I bat according to the situation and what the team needs.”
For his breathtaking batting pyrotechnics, @surya_14kumar bagged the Player of the Match award as #TeamIndia beat Z… https://t.co/RORFltFgiO
— BCCI (@BCCI) 1667734286000
Another teammate gasping in awe of Surya’s ability is Ravichandran Ashwin, who spoke about SKY’s ability to express himself. Asked after the match what it was like to watch Suryakumar bat from the dressing room, Ashwin said: “As a bowler it’s great. You have more runs to defend! The way Surya bats is free-spirited, voluntary. He is not a spring chicken, but still, this early in international cricket, he can express himself. The kind of shots he plays, he complements many of the other batsmen in the team.”
Asked to describe Surya’s shots in the last over, Ashwin said, “What am I describing! They are sweep shots! You don’t expect a batsman to hit a fast bowler with this kind of sweep, or a square sweep. Surya can play it all, we know that. This is one of the reasons why he complements the other batsmen very well. One of the reasons spin is well countered by teams is because of the sweep and the reverse sweep. You just can’t hit the ball on the ground.”
Zimbabwe captain Craig Ervine got a first-hand experience of how quickly Surya can take the game away from the opposition. “Look, you have a Plan A and B and C. Our first plan was to try and execute yorkers. Today we could have moved to the other plans a little earlier,” he said.
“He is such a 360 player, so difficult to bowl to. Once he gets going, it just makes it more and more difficult (to stop him). Our first 10, 15 overs were very good and kept us in the game, apart from that innings he played towards the end.”
Englandwho’s in next Adelaidenow have a SKY sized headache to deal with in the second semi-final!