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T20 World Cup: Had practiced scoop a lot while playing rubber-ball cricket, says Suryakumar Yadav

Melbourne, Nov 7 (IANS) Undoubtedly, Suryakumar Yadav has been the story of the ongoing Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia. A truly 360-degree player who can score runs in all parts of the ground, Suryakumar is enjoying the purple patch by unleashing an array of shots which aren’t seen in the coaching manual.

One of the highlights of India’s 71-run win over Zimbabwe on Sunday was Suryakumar’s unorthodox stroke where he dispatched the ball over the boundary with a scoop shot, gaining him plaudits from legendary batter Sunil Gavaskar who was on commentary at the time.

On the last ball of India innings, having enthralled the 82,000 crowd at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Richard Ngarava had attempted to bowl a wide yorker. Seeing that Suryakumar stepped across, and literally fell over while making the contact of bat with the ball.

His scoop on one knee resulted in the ball flying to the right of short fine leg, all the way for a jaw-dropping six to end up unbeaten at 61 off 25 balls. Suryakumar also smacked six fours and four sixes in a death overs batting masterclass at a strike-rate of 244, changing the tempo of the match yet again.

He attributed the scoop shot to playing tons of rubber-ball cricket. “You got to understand what the bowler is going to bowl at that time, which is a little pre-determined at that moment. I have practiced that stroke a lot when I used to play rubber-ball cricket. So, you got to be thinking what the bowler is thinking at that time.

“If the field is in, I just back myself to go there. You got to know how long the boundary behind is. When I stand there, I feel it’s just 60-65 meters and with the pace of the ball I just try and time it, take it on the sweet spot of the bat and if it hits, it just goes out there,” explained the right-handed batter about that scoop shot on ‘Follow the Blues’ show on Star Sports.

During Sunday’s match, Suryakumar, the top-ranked T20I batter, also became the first Indian and only the second player in the world after Pakistan’s Mohammad Rizwan to score 1000 T20I runs or more in a calendar year apart from being the leading run-getter in the format in 2022.

He further spoke about how he handles pressure situations in big matches and tries to score runs all around the ground to propel India to a winning total. “When I go into bat, I just try and look for a few boundaries or even if I don’t get that, I just try and run as hard as possible between wickets. If you have to bat with Virat (Kohli) bhai then you have to run hard as well.

“But I try and do that, hit it in the gaps and run hard. But I know what strokes I need to play at that time. I try and play lot of percentage cricket. My strokes are sweeps, over cover, and cuts, if I am succeeding in that, I just take the game ahead from there.”

–IANS

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