Indian coach Dravid hails ‘phenomenal’ Yadav
ADELAIDE: India coach Rahul Dravid labelled Suryakumar Yadav “absolutely phenomenal” after the top-ranked T20 batsman powered them into a World Cup semi-final clash with England.
Yadav’s unbeaten 61 off 25 balls on Sunday steered India to 186-5 against Zimbabwe in Melbourne and an emphatic 71-run win in their final group match.
India’s star batsman Virat Kohli has top-scored at this World Cup with 246 runs so far. Yadav is just behind with 225.
“It’s incredible,” Dravid said of Yadav, who has a strike rate of 179.63 and averages over 42 in 39 T20 matches since his India debut last year. “That’s why he is the number one T20 player in the world at the moment… it’s not easy to be consistent with the kind of strike rate he’s going at.”
Yadav, 32, rose to prominence with his pyrotechnics for Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League and soon made it to the Indian team.
Fondly called SKY, he has smashed 12 half-centuries and one ton since his first T20I, against England in March last year, and has become India’s go-to performer in the middle order.
“If I look at Surya from a couple of years ago, just to see how he takes care of his body and the amount of time he spends on his fitness, I think he’s just really earning the reward for a lot of the hard work that he’s put in,” said Dravid.
“I think he’s been absolutely phenomenal for us. He’s just a joy to watch. It’s a pleasure to watch him bat when he’s in that kind of form,” Dravid said after Yadav’s starring role Sunday.
“Every time it’s like he puts on a show.”
Ice-cool Yadav has England in his sights next in Thursday’s semi-final at the Adelaide Oval.
Commentator Harsha Bhogle said England should be worried.
“There isn’t a part of the ground that he cannot score and to watch Suryakumar Yadav today is to see a very talented cricketer at the very height of his powers,” he told the website Cricbuzz.
Published in Dawn, November 8th, 2022