Suryakumar Yadav put on a show with the bat in India’s seven-wicket victory over West Indies in the third T20I at Providence Stadium, Guyana on Tuesday (August 8).
It was a must-win game for India to stay alive in the five-T20I series and Suryakumar delivered for the team in the chase of 160.
Batting at No. 4, the dashing right-hander slammed 83 in just 44 balls and added 87 runs for the third wicket with Tilak Varma. His knock was studded with 10 fours and 4 sixes.
After Surya got out, the duo of Tilak (49* off 37) and skipper Hardik Pandya (20* off 15) stitched an unbeaten 43-run partnership to take the visitors over the line with 13 deliveries to spare.
Following the game, Hardik showered rich praise on Suryakumar Yadav, saying it’s good to have someone like him in the team.
“As Surya mentioned, they (SKY and Tilak) play together and spend time together, good to have someone like SKY in the team and when he takes responsibility it sends a message to the others,” Hardik said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
Highlighting the significance of this victory, the Indian captain said: “Very important (to win). We spoke as a group that these three games will be exciting. Two losses or two wins does not change the long term plans. We have to show we are ready when it comes to such (must-win) games.”
Pandya went on to say that their plan was to let Nicholas Pooran hit him if he wanted to, adding that he wants the West Indies wicketkeeper to come hard at him in the penultimate T20I.
Pooran scored 20 runs off 12 balls in the third T20I before being dismissed by Kuldeep Yadav.
“Nicky (Pooran) didn't come out to bat and that allowed us to keep our pacers back, also allowed Akshar to bowl his four overs. If Nicky wants to hit, let him hit me and that was the plan, I enjoy such competition. I know he is going to hear this and will come hard at me in the fourth T20I,” Hardik stated.
“As a group we have decided to bat with seven batters and we have to take responsibility, like it happened today if the batters score runs then you don't need someone at number eight,” he added.
The fourth T20I will be played in Florida on Saturday (August 12).