‘Everytime I think I have not seen a better T20 innings, you show us something even better’: Rahul Dravid lauds Suryakumar Yadav

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Suryakumar Yadav scored a blistering 51-ball 112 against Sri Lanka in the series decider to help India win the three-match T20I series 2-1.

The stylish right-hander hit nine mammoth sixes and seven boundaries in his match-winning innings. Chasing a gigantic total Sri Lanka crumbled for 137 runs. Arshdeep Singh who had a pasting in the second T20I at Pune was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets. Skipper Hardik Pandya, Umran Malik and Chahal picked up two wickets each and Axar Patel chipped in with a wicket.

After the match, Team India head coach Rahul Dravid interviews centurion Suryakumar Yadav.

Excerpts

Rahul Dravid: “It is lovely to have someone here with me who as a young kid growing up, did not watch me bat. And I hope you didn’t, I am sure you didn’t,” “Surya, exceptional. The form that you have been in – every time I think I have not seen a better T20 inning, you show us something even better. Of all these innings that you have played over the last year that I have had the privilege of watching and enjoying, can you pick one or two that is the best?”

Suryakumar Yadav: “I enjoyed batting in all the difficult situations. I can’t pick anyone inning. It is actually difficult to pick one, I just enjoyed myself. I am just doing the same things that I did last year. I have said before as well, I just try and enjoy when I go in to bat, and express myself as much as possible. In those difficult situations when other teams try and take the game off, I try and take them on. If it works well for me and the team, I am happy.”

Rahul Dravid: How many shots from Sky’s bat are pre-determined

Suryakumar Yadav: I mean obviously this format you have to be a little bit pre-determined at the same time you got to have another stroke as well. If the bowler is a step ahead of you during that time, but yes I try and play the field what fielders are in, what bowler can bowl at that time and it works out.

Rahul Dravid: It’s incredible out there just the guys who watch you practice as well just to watch you train. Obviously, I don’t think you are playing some of these shots in training but even in training when we are throwing the ball to you when we watch you train one of the things that are really noticeable is how obviously when you are training for this format is how much creative you are with the shots that your playing. You are not just looking to play defence or hit the ball back its not necessarily about the field it’s about using your wrists and finding angles even when we are throwing balls to you is there something you consciously work on?

Suryakumar Yadav: Absolutely I mean during the net sessions I try and hear the sound of the bat. If I am meeting the ball really well or I mean I try and set the field for myself whenever any left-arm spinner or leg-spinner or fast bowler is bowling and just try and time the ball as much as possible. And hearing the sound of the bat I am happy on that day even if it happens for 10 minutes I am happy when I come out of it.

Rahul Dravid: And someone like you you have been around a long time you have played a lot of domestic cricket. I remember even as a young player you were one of the rising stars as an 18 and 19-year-old in Mumbai cricket and it took you a long time to get into the Indian team. In terms of that journey how challenging has it been and maybe have to struggle that much and work that hard has it helped you today do you value the success lot more or did it make you even hungrier?

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Suryakumar Yadav: It does make me, even more, hungrier now. I mean the amount of domestic cricket I have played I have always enjoyed playing that for my state side Mumbai and wherever I played I always try to put up a show. Enjoyed batting even there as well yes it was a little challenging in the last few years but kept telling myself this is why you play this game enjoy it the passion for this game kept me driving so I just kept going

Rahul Dravid: And there was your family I know that your wife and your family were there. Your lovely family was there in Dubai and your wife travels with you a lot I know she pushed you a lot on the fitness side of things so maybe a word on them. Just on the fitness work and diet work you have done something that is really noticeable for me as a coach is just the lifestyle having seen you in India-A a little bit and then coming to the NCA and doing the yo-yo test two years ago and dived to get across the line now you are a lot fitter and working hard how is that being?

Suryakumar Yadav: I mean the role of the family has been most important in my cricketing journey till now when I started playing cricket. I still know they were the ones who helped me out of the box because my dad is an engineer so in my family there is no history of sports. I had to be a little different for him to see a spark in me and push me they have sacrificed a lot and obviously my wife after we got married she’s been pushing me really hard in terms of nutrition and in terms of staying fit and obviously. The same thing to the fitness test which I gave in Banglore I still remember by I mean that was actually the turning point at that time I really enjoyed that as well we have been taking cricket a lot when I go back home and we discuss how we can better how we can be one step ahead at this level and we really enjoy doing that

Rahul Dravid: All we can say is Surya it is a pleasure working with you just your personality and what you bring to the team you are always smiling and keeping everyone’s spirits up I think that’s a great thing to have in a team we appreciate that and long may it continue and hopefully we get to see a lot more innings like this in the future


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