Suryakumar Yadav’s jaw-dropping batting has been one of the highlights of India’s T20 World Cup 2022 campaign in Australia.
The dashing right-hander has amassed 225 runs in five innings at a remarkable average of 75 and an outstanding strike rate of 193.96. He has hit three half-centuries and earned two Player-of-the-Match awards so far.
Impressed with his display, Australian batting legend Matthew Hayden on Tuesday (November 8) said T20 cricket is not always about power and Suryakumar has demonstrated it with his "access shots" and "innovation".
"The power game in T20 cricket is still being explored because there is a mixture," Hayden, who is the mentor of Pakistan cricket team at the ongoing T20 World Cup, told reporters.
"I think the subcontinental players, when you look at the tournament so far, guys like Suryakumar Yadav who are playing beautifully through that middle to late stage, with a competency of all areas of the ground, with access shots, innovation, they become threats."
On Sunday (November 6), Surya starred with the bat, slamming 61 not out in just 25 balls to script India’s comprehensive 71-run victory over Zimbabwe at MCG. In particular, he impressed one and all with his lap shots and paddle sweeps.
"So it's not always about the power. And as I said, I think as cricketers, we're all trying to come to grips with when is the power, when does that foot go down on the floor, when does it decelerate and look to preserve.
"And a lot of the matches have been very close matches. And the tricky balance between preservation of wickets versus exploration of innovation have been really why I think a lot of the sides that are here now in this tournament are still here.
"Australia is a great case of that. Power to burn but hasn't been able to handle the new ball. And it's let itself be vulnerable through the middle of the order."
Defending champions Australia failed to reach the semi-final and Hayden said the hosts didn't get things right in their preparation for the showpiece T20 tournament.
"The Australian team has some thinking to do. There has to be some freshness... there has to be planning heading towards World Cups. They're the premium events. They're the events that everyone across the world plans for, and Australia, unfortunately, just didn't get it right.
"We all know the Australian cricket team, the culture of Australian cricket has been challenged over the last four or five years. There has to be some improvements in the departments, especially I think their fast bowling attack."
(With PTI inputs)