New Zealand vs India, 2nd T20I – ‘I’m enjoying batting like this’

Surya Kumar Yadav is really happy with the way he is batting at the moment. He said as much after scoring an unbeaten 111 off 51 balls at Mount Maunganui to take India to 191 for 6 in the second T20I against New Zealand. It also explained why he was, relatively speaking, behind until the 17th over of the innings – he was 57 for 35 at the end of the 16th, before hitting 54 off his last 16 balls.

“In T20 cricket, a century is always special,” Surya Kumar told broadcasters after India’s innings. “But it was also important for me to bat till the end, that’s Hardik. [Pandya, his partner in an 82-run stand for the fourth wicket] was saying on the other hand. Just try and play from the 18th to the 19th over, we need a score of 180-185, and be really happy with the score on the board.

“I’m enjoying batting like this, I’m doing the same in the nets, all the practice sessions and going out. [to the middle]All this is happening, I’m very happy with it.”

Later, in the post-match press conference, he explained how he gets into his zone. “When you perform well you have to do all the processes and routines in the same way. So 99% of the time I try to do the same things on match day. For example, if I have to do a gym session Or if I have to eat lunch at the right time or if I have to take a power nap for about 15-20 minutes, those are all the little things that I try to do on game days and when I come to the ground. So I feel good. That’s my zone.

“Also I spend a lot of time with my wife on my days off. Talk to my parents a lot. One thing that keeps me strong is that they don’t talk about sports and that makes me a Puts in a good place and I really am. It’s been a pleasure to be in that zone for so long.”

Surya Kumar is currently the world’s No. 1 T20I batsman, having scored 1151 runs in the format in 2022 – an innings that included two centuries, nine half-centuries and an impressive 67 sixes at a strike rate of 188.37. Of those runs, 239 came in the just-concluded T20 World Cup at a strike rate of 189.68 – he finished the tournament with the highest strike rate among the 144 batsmen who scored 10 or more runs, and the third Third highest overall.

On Sunday, he reflected on his journey. “I always think about the past. Whenever I’m in my room or traveling with my wife, we talk about how it was two or three years ago and what it’s like now.” It has changed. We still talk about those days. Yes, there was a bit of disappointment at that time but we always tried to take positives out of those situations. [looked at] How can I become a better cricketer and move up? I tried different things like being nice [healthy] Food, quality practice sessions, sleep on time. I used to do this before but not in terms of quality. After going through all this, I am now enjoying the fruits of it.”

So he has cracked T20 cricket. What about the test? “It’s coming… it’s coming… that time is coming,” said Surya Kumar. “When we start playing, we start with the red ball. [cricket]. For my (our) Mumbai team, I have played a good amount of first-class cricket. So I have a good understanding of this format and I enjoy it. Hopefully I too will get a test cap soon.


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