All aboard the Suryakumar Yadav fever express. Even Virat Kohli. After hitting his 45th ODI century and 73rd overall in international cricket in what was his first innings of 2023, the former India skipper applauded India’s new middle order sensation for his recent prowess with the bat.
“I want to congratulate you on all the amazing things you’ve been doing,” Kohli said to Surya in a BCCI video after the first ODI vs Sri Lanka in Guwahati. “Honestly hum log toh itne saal se lage huye hai but what you are doing is something that I haven’t seen before. You are creating a different template. You are creating a different energy. I can see in the crowds when you go, there’s genuine love and genuine affection because of the way you are playing, which is amazing to see.”
Surya had been the highest run scorer in the India-Sri Lanka three-match T20I series, scoring a fifty and a hundred, his third in T20Is as India beat the visitors 2-1. In Guwahati, Yadav wasn’t part of India’s playing XI. Kohli, who featured at number three, marked his second consecutive ODI ton, having hit his last against Bangladesh back during the third ODI in December.
Of mutual admiration 🤝, dealing with expectations & starting the year with a glorious 💯
A conversation that will brighten up your Wednesday morning as @surya_14kumar chats with centurion @imVkohli 😃- By @ameyatilak
Full interview 🔽 #TeamIndia #INDvSLhttps://t.co/VVfjt19zRM pic.twitter.com/StExnar1V1
— BCCI (@BCCI) January 11, 2023
Speaking to Surya, Kohli spoke about him starting the year with a century in his first outing, “Do saal mai aisa saal nahi shuru hua (Last two years didn’t start out this way for me). This was the first match of the year and I got a century so hopefully I can build on this because it’s a world cup year and there’s a big Test series coming up against Australia. In any game, when you score runs you get the confidence. Today, I was just happy that I could bat through the innings almost.”
The 34-year-old also spoke of getting back to back hundreds following an almost three year time without one that came to an end last year during the Asia Cup, when he hit a first T20I century against Afghanistan.
“Now people look at you differently,” Kohli said while speaking to his India teammate. “Now when Surya goes out to play, people are thinking Surya karke dega (Surya will do it). To keep up with that is a very intense process. Sometimes when your cricket is going well all those things flow well. But when there’s a little bit of dip, then in my case frustration started to creep in because I wanted to play like that….on the expectations people have of me based on how I play. On how I must play. But cricket wasn’t allowing me to play that way and because of that my attachments and desires to play well had totally taken over and I was far off from the game. That’s when I realised, I have to be true to myself. Even when I’m not playing well, I’m vulnerable, I’m the worst player around, I have to accept it.”
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