Following his side’s 91-run win over Sri Lanka in the third T20I, Indian skipper Hardik Pandya lauded Suryakumar Yadav for his explosive knock, saying that the match was Suryakumar versus Sri Lanka. Suryakumar Yadav’s blistering knock of 112 combined with a clinical performance of bowlers helped India register a thumping 91-run win over Sri Lanka in the third and final T20I to clinch the three-match series 2-1 at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium on Saturday.
“Today, it felt like Sri Lanka vs Surya (Suryakumar). That is why Suryakumar is such an important player for us in white-ball cricket. The way he changes the game, the shots he plays, it just breaks the morale of the bowler. It helps the other batters as well,” said Pandya in a press conference after the match.
Hardik lauded Rahul Tripathi for his quick knock of 35 off 16 balls.
“The kind of intent he showed – something which is so natural to him – can change the game and the momentum. If you see the first couple of overs, the ball was doing something, and people outside, even the next batter, they all thought there was something in the wicket. But because of his intent, the bowlers changed their length and all of a sudden the ball stopped moving. Then it was like they [Sri Lanka] were chasing the game,” he added.
Pandya said that it is important to show intent while bowling.
“You look for a boundary. You see a good ball, you show it respect. But if you think defensive, you would not be able to put even a bad ball away. This pitch was suitable for batters once the ball got old,” said the skipper.
On his captaincy, Pandya said that working with Gujarat Titans head coach Ashish Nehra made a big difference in his life.
“I had never led in junior cricket either. When I was in the Under-16s, I had led Baroda. After that, everyone felt I should focus on my cricket, and since then I have not led. But what has been very important from Gujarat’s point of view is the kind of coach I worked with. Ashish Nehra made a big difference in my life. We might be two different personalities, but when it comes to cricket, our mindset and thoughts are very similar,” he said.
“Because I was with him, it added more value to my captaincy. I always had the awareness of the game but it was about getting that assurance. It was about kind of backing what I always knew already, so it has definitely helped me,” he added.
With this win, India captured the three-match T20I series by 2-1.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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