Dravid, though, offered a rare peek into the methods and the processes which have transformed Suryakumar into the world’s No. 1 T20 batter. “This is why he is the No. 1 T20 player, because of that consistency. It’s not easy to be consistent with the kind of strike rates he’s going at. It’s just fantastic the way he is playing. He’s been very clear about his processes. He’s very clear about his tactics.”
Suryakumar has become the first batter to score 1,000-plus runs in T20Is this year, his runs having come at a scarcely believable strike rate of 186. 54 in 28 innings. Sunday’s knock was his third half-century in this World Cup alone. “He has worked very hard,” Dravid said. “One of the things about Surya is just the amount of hard work that he’s put in the nets, in thinking about his game, his fitness.
“If I look at Surya from a couple of years ago, just to see (now) how he takes care of his body and the amount of time he spends on his fitness. . . he’s just really earning the reward for a lot of the hard work that he’s put in on and off the field. Long may it continue. He has been absolutely phenomenal for us. He’s a joy to watch. It’s a pleasure to watch him bat when he’s in that kind of form. It’s like he puts on a show, every time,” Dravid gushed.
Surya himself told the official broadcasters, “You’ve got to start from zero every time, that’s what I think. My plan has always been very clear: I do the same thing in the nets. I practice the same shots. I bat according to the situation and what the team needs.”
For his breathtaking batting pyrotechnics, @surya_14kumar bagged the Player of the Match award as #TeamIndia beat Z… https://t.co/RORFltFgiO
— BCCI (@BCCI) 1667734286000
Another teammate left gasping in awe at Surya’s ability is Ravichandran Ashwin, who talked about SKY’s ability to “express himself”. Asked after the game what it had been like to watch Suryakumar bat from the dressing room, Ashwin said, “As a bowler it’s wonderful. You have more runs to defend! The way Surya is batting is free-spirited, free-willed. He’s not a spring chicken but still, this early in international cricket, he is able to express himself. The kind of shots he is playing, he is complementing a lot of the other batters in the side.”
Asked to describe Surya’s shots in the last over, Ashwin said, “What do I describe! They are sweep shots! You don’t expect a batter to hit a fast bowler with this kind of a lap sweep, or a square sweep. Surya can play all that, we know it. That’s one of the reasons why he complements the other batters really well. One of the reasons spin is being countered well by teams is because of the sweep and the reverse sweep. You just can’t be hitting the ball down the ground.”
Zimbabwe captain Craig Ervine got a first-hand experience of how quickly Surya can take the game away from the opposition. “Look, you have a Plan A and B and C. Our first plan was to try and execute yorkers. Today we could have moved to the other plans a little earlier,” he said.
“He’s such a 360 player, so difficult to bowl to. Once he gets going, it just makes it more and more difficult (to stop him). Our first 10. 15 overs were really good and kept us in the game, apart from that innings that he played towards the end.”
England, who are up next in Adelaide, now have a SKY sized headache to handle in the second semifinal!