It appears that he is picking up where he left off with Suryakumar Yadav in 2023. By scoring a staggering 1164 runs with a strike rate of 187.43 in 2022, the 32-year-old rewrote many records. He has now added to his total of centuries in the format and helped India defeat Sri Lanka in a three-match T20I series to kick off the new year.
In the third T20I on Saturday in Rajkot, Suryakumar hammered 112 off just 51 balls, scoring seven fours and nine sixes. After the game, head coach Rahul Dravid, who was renowned for having mastered a quite different style of batting during his playing days, joked that he was relieved Suryakumar had never seen him bat. “It is lovely to have someone here with me who as a young kid growing up, did not watch me bat. And I hope you didn’t, I am sure you didn’t,” said Dravid in a video posted by BCCI.tv before both he and Suryakumar broke out in laughter. “I did,” said the India No. 4 while laughing.
The way Suryakumar bats contrasts sharply with the way Dravid played cricket. While Surya may undoubtedly be compared to the former India captain in terms of style, panache, and elegance, Dravid’s batting was far more traditional. He is known as “The Wall” for a reason, after all; whereas Dravid was as sincere as they come, Surya, well, he doesn’t hold back, does he? One is a surgeon, the other a butcher, as the proverb goes.
Dravid was in charge when Suryakumar was establishing himself by toiling away for years at the India A level, and ironically, he is the head coach right now when SKY is shining for the senior team. Suryakumar’s unbroken 112 was his third T20I century in a six-month period, and all three of SKY’s aggressive knocks have come under Dravid. Every single one of Suryakumar’s centuries has beaten Dravid’s record, whether it was the commanding 117 against England at Trent Bridge in July, the disobedient 111 against New Zealand, or last night’s epic.
“Surya, exceptional. The form that you have been in – every time I think I have not seen a better T20 inning, you show us something even better. Of all these innings that you have played over the last year that I have had the privilege of watching and enjoying, can you pick one or two that is the best?” Dravid asked.
“I enjoyed batting in all the difficult situations. I can’t pick any one inning. It is actually difficult to pick one, I just enjoyed myself. I am just doing the same things that I did last year. I have said before as well, I just try and enjoy when I go in to bat and express myself as much as possible. In those difficult situations when other teams try and take the game off, I try and take them on. If it works well for me and the team, I am happy.”