“His dugout can be really relaxing” when Suryakumar Kumar is in the middle making stunning shots, India captain Rohit Sharma said on Sunday.
“The bunker can be really comfortable when he hits, and he showed a lot of composure when he hits. We expected that from him, and he went from strength to strength,” Rohit said at the post-match presentation.
Suryakumar shot 61 unbeaten from 25 balls after Kuala Lumpur made it to Rahul with 50 points.
In response to India 186 to five, Zimbabwe came out for 115 from 17.2.
“What SKY does for the team is great, just get out there, play that way, and take the pressure off the others. We know his ability, and that allows the guy on the other end to take his time,” Rohit added.
Zimbabwe’s batting depth was never enough to challenge Indian bowlers with Ravichandran Ashwin (3/22) enjoying a good day in the office. In fact, all other Indian bowlers were among the wickets in one of the most lopsided games of this world event.
“A very good performance in all respects, something we were looking for. We qualified, but we wanted to go out and play the way we wanted to play, which we achieved.”
Playing the semi-finals at the Adelaide Oval, Rohit said the key would adapt quickly.
“The key for us is to adapt quickly to the conditions. We played a game there, but we need to adapt quickly. England are a good team and it will be a great match.
“We should be proud to qualify first, and if we play well in the semi-finals, we have another big game as well. It’s about understanding the lines and lengths – box boundaries are shorter – and good execution.
“The fans have been fantastic all this while, almost everywhere we went, we have a full house, and we expect the same in the semi-finals as well. On behalf of the team, I really want to thank them.”
While the cricket world may be awful from his game, match player Suryakumar said he’s not trying anything different and is just looking to implement what he does in training in the match.
“I think the plan was very clear when Hardyk and I were fighting. He said let’s take the positive path and see where we end up. We started hitting the ball really well and never stopped until day 20. The atmosphere in the team is very nice, and the preparations for the knockout were really great.”
“My plan is always clear. I don’t try anything different. I hit the net the same way too.”
When asked about his performance this year, Suryakumar said, “It feels really good, but going out and starting from scratch is what I always think of when I go out for the racket, and I will continue to do that. It’s good to see people come out and support us like that even after we qualify.”
Zimbabwe captain Craig Ervin said his team deviated from the positive approach that worked so well for the team in the first half of the tournament, when it also stunned Pakistan.
“I think we could have changed two more plans. Suryakumar was brilliant at the end, nullifying Ritchie’s extensive employment, which was our master plan. We could have probably changed our pace a little bit more there.”
“Before the tournament kicked off, we tried to be positive at the top, but the last 2-3 games we kind of got away from,” said Ervin.
Zimbabwe has ceded up to 79 points in the last five sums after taking a few wickets.
“The ball was swinging, but to respond that maybe we could move a little bit, we were more active.
“We must not forget the work we did to get into Super 12. We will look to build on that. He hasn’t caught up with us well in the last few matches, but I know the boys have worked hard on that,” the Zimbabwean captain said.