Hardik Pandya was lost for words when he was asked to describe the strokes Suryakumar Yadav played in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday night. Batting at No. 3 for Mumbai Indians, Suryakumar Yadav scored a scintillating 47-ball 79 as Mumbai Indians snuffed out Rajasthan Royals by 57 runs to go top of the IPL 2020 table.
Suryakumar Yadav won the Man of the Match award not only for his breezy batting but for the bravery he showed after being hit by a Jofra Archer bouncer.
His riposte to the fearsome England quick -- a reverse scooped six over RR keeper Jos Buttler-- was a sign of Suryakumar's expression to look the bowler in the eye. To be able to produce such a stroke from a wide yorker that went wrong, Suryakumar demonstrated his appetite to play a wide range of strokes, often defying the grammar book.
"I just can't explain the kind of strokes he was playing. That shot off Archer after being hit in the head shows his courage," said Hardik Pandya in a short chat with TV commentators between the innings.
Suryakumar Yadav and Hardik Pandya (30 off 19 balls) produced a match-winning 76-run stand for the fifth wicket.
"It (a big knock) was coming, I spoke to him (Surya) before the game as well. He was batting really well all these games. He got off to a good start and it was just about making sure, you know, that the shot making sometimes can be very very important and today his shot-making was perfect," said Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma after the match.
"We wanted him to bat till the end because of those innovative shots that he has, it was quite handy towards the end," said Rohit.
"The last few games I was just finding ways to get out. I believed in myself and just tried to bat till the end. I think the added responsibility they've given me right now helps me to express myself," said Suryakumar Yadav.
"This lockdown helped me with some of my shots. Most importantly, the team winning satisfies me. Because I knew three wickets down I needed to bat till the end," Suryakumar said.
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