Mt. Maunganui: Suriyakumar Yadav’s 111 against New Zealand on Sunday added to his lofty tally as the best T20 batsman but veteran bowler Tim Southee said he would have to continually prove himself to become India’s best in the shortest form.
Suryakumar hit a scenic 111 not out from 51 balls and hit India to 191 for six as the visitors outclassed New Zealand by 65 runs in the second T20 International here.
“There have been a number of great T20 players from India, many great cricketers. Asked if Suryakumar is the best T20 player in history from India to whom he has bowled, Southee said.
“India has produced a lot of amazing cricketers not only in the T20 format but also across the three formats. You have a lot of players who have been playing for a long time and have achieved a lot over a long period of time.” With the New Zealand bowlers looking as clueless as the Indian batter played some unusual catches.
He smashed boundaries and jackets at will, and his last 64 was off just 18 balls. His entertaining innings were 11 fours and seven sixes and his shooting rate was an incredible 217.64.
“He (Suryakumar) is a player who can bat in many ways. He’s been in form for the last 12 months – IPL and international cricket. He came up with a very impressive knock today,” said Southee, who came back with figures of 3/34 in his four overs.
Suryakumar was raging in the penultimate over bowled by Lucky Ferguson, hitting four boundaries and an astonishing six over a deep point. The last five overs yielded 72 runs.
Southee had his moments in the match. He kicked an impressive 20 overs and stopped the free-flow of runs by taking a hat-trick. Washington denied Sundar, Deepak Hooda and Hardik Pandya on the trot.
“I was a bit lucky there, I bowled at the end, it’s a nice feeling. Sometimes you bowl well but you don’t get the rewards, but today[it was different],” said the 33-year-old, who took 132 wickets from 106 matches. T20 internationals “It’s part of the game”.
Asked if it was difficult for players to play in wet conditions, Southey said: “It’s never perfect (with wet balls), but it’s the same for both teams. You have to adapt to the conditions.” In New Zealand who never hit 65 Ultimately, he said, “When chasing that kind of total, you needed a decent partnership at one point. On another day, you would have taken two or three early wickets (in India’s innings)”.