Hard-hitting batter Suryakumar Yadav said he is flexible enough to bat anywhere in the Indian T20 team, having turned out for the Men in Blue in various roles, including opening the innings.
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Suryakumar scored a scintillating 26-ball 68 not out to pave the way for India's 40-run win over Hong Kong and sail into the Super Four stage of the Asia Cup 2022 on Wednesday.
On a two-paced wicket, Suryakumar, who came in to bat at number 4, played a wide range of shots which included six sixes and as many fours.
“I am flexible to bat at any number, wherever you tell me. I have told the coach and captain to send me at any number but just play me,” Suryakumar said at the post match press conference.
Vice-captain KL Rahul, who is coming off an injury, has looked completely out of sorts in the tournament. Against Hong Kong, he struggled to score a 39-ball 36. “So you are saying we should not play KL bhai (Rahul)?" he said when asked if he would open the innings with Rohit Sharma.
“He is coming after an injury and he needs some time now, we have time right now,” he added. With the T20 World Cup just around the corner, India are continuing to experiment in a bid to find out the best batting combination.
“Things will go on, there are lot of things we are trying and experimenting. There are things that we want to do and it's better to try those things in matches rather than in practice sessions.” India had a woeful start after being sent to bat first with Rahul and Rohit failing to covert their starts, while Virat Kohli scored a 44-ball 59 not out.
“It is a challenge to bat first. We are working on that exactly, like what sort of target we need to set while batting first, that's what we are trying to get right.
“Today as well, we were trying to do that, once we started batting first, what total should it be, what tempo and how to finish. Who are the batsmen left (to come in), what will be their role, it was very clear for us.”
“So, if I couldn't accomplish that role, then obviously the next one, Rishab (Pant) would have done, if not DK (Dinesh Karthik) he would have done and then we had Jaddu (Ravindra Jadeja), even he was there to do that ...so we have enough firepower to put up whatever we need to in the first innings, it will get done.”
Suryakumar changed the complexion of the game with his 360-degree hitting. “The situation was such that I had to go and bat out in the middle the way I did. At the start the wicket was a bit slow.
“Once I got in and after a chat with Virat, he told me just express yourself, bat the way you usually bat. My plans were absolutely clear on the way to bat...and I really enjoyed it.”