T20 World Cup India vs England semi-final: England must shut down ‘fantastic’ Suryakumar Kumar, says Ben Stokes | Cricket News


ADELAIDE: Ben Stokes warned on Tuesday that England must destroy the threat of Suryakumar Yadav in their T20 World Cup semi-final against India, saying the batsman had “set the world on fire”.
India and England clash at the Adelaide Oval on Thursday for a place in the final at the MCG against either Pakistan or New Zealand.
The top-ranked Indians have been riding high on Suryakumar’s batting exploits, with the middle-order batsman in scintillating form with three half-centuries in Australia and 225 runs.
“Obviously Suryakumar came in and set the world on fire. He’s a fantastic player and plays some shots where sometimes you just scratch your head,” England all-rounder Stokes said.
“He’s in great form, but hopefully we can try to shut him down and not allow him to get on one of his swings.”
Suryakumar played a key role in India’s top finish in Group 2 and was at his devastating best in the last match against Zimbabwe with an unbeaten 61 off 25 balls.
The 32-year-old is known as a 360-degree player for his ability to hit the ball to all parts of the ground, including the daring drop shot over the wicketkeeper’s head for a six.
India are playing against an English team that was considered by many as pre-tournament favourites.
But they were not always convincing to reach the semi-finals and were beaten by Ireland.
Stokes, England’s Test captain, has come under extra scrutiny for his patchy batting, but he hit an unbeaten 42 against Sri Lanka to lead the Three Lions into the knockouts.
Stokes, who has been England’s best player in difficult situations and led them to a 50-over World Cup title in 2019, is hoping for more of the same at the business end in Australia.
“Hopefully we’ve got two more games to go … and hopefully lift the trophy in the end,” said Stokes, a left-handed batsman and a right-arm fast bowler.
“But we know we have to finish this game on Thursday against a very strong Indian team that nobody will ever take lightly because of the team they are and the players they have in their squad.”
Virat Kohli once again stood out for India with three unbeaten half-centuries and leads the tournament batting chart with 246 runs and an average of 123.
Kohli, 34, overcame miserable batting form to hit his maiden international century in 1,020 days at the Asia Cup in September and silence the critics.
“I think with Virat he can have four incredible years like he’s had and then have a not-so-tough few months and then for some reason play like that and get written off, we have no idea why,” said Stokes.
“I think he has earned the right to never be written off.”
New Zealand and Pakistan will play the first semi-final in Sydney on Wednesday.


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