Star Indian batter Virat Kohli said he was blown away by Suryakumar Yadav’s knock against Hong Kong on Wednesday.
Suryakumar Yadav’s blistering 68*, Virat Kohli’s 59* and Ravindra Jadeja’s quick fielding helped India secure direct qualification to the Super Four phase of the ongoing Asia Cup 2022 after beating Hong Kong by 40 runs here at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Wednesday.
“I enjoyed Suryakumar Yadav’s innings from the other end. He came and changed the momentum of the game on a pitch that was not as easy as he made it look. I was completely blown away,” said Kohli in a video posted by BCCI that also featured Suryakumar.
Suryakumar said that he enjoyed batting with Virat and needed the veteran to stay on the crease on the other end so as to express himself freely.
Questioned on his mindset in the innings by Virat, Suryakumar said, “When I was sitting inside, I and Rishabh were talking about how do we take this game further as the pitch was a bit slow. When I went to bat, I tried being myself, doing what I do, what I love doing. I was going for 3-4 boundaries in my first ten balls. When I got that, I just kept batting.”
Virat said that the quickfire 98-run stand between them in 42 balls was really nice for the team. Suryakumar Yadav had hit four sixes in the final over, asked if he thought of hitting six sixes and becoming the second Indian to do so after Yuvraj Singh, he quipped, “I was trying my best but let us not get past Yuvi pajji.”
Virat said he is looking forward to Surya playing such knocks for the Indian team. “If you stay in that zone, you can change the complexion of the game against any team in the world,” he added.
Virat said that his plan was extremely simple, to stabilise the innings and take risks when the opportunity arises by hitting some big shots.
“When you (Surya) were here, my role changed back to holding one end steady so that you could express yourself. I enjoy doing this, staying out there at the crease when I am set. I enjoyed my batting in my last game against a quality attack. I am happy that I got two innings where I enjoyed my batting. Numbers and milestones are not really relevant to me,” he added.
Coming to the match, put to bat first by Hong Kong, Team India posted 192/2 in their 20 overs. Virat Kohli showcased glimpses of his old self and hit 59* off 44 balls, decorated with a four and three massive sixes.
Then in the final few overs, Suryakumar Yadav exploded, smashing a brilliant 68* off 26 balls with six fours and six sixes. Pacer Ayush Shukla (1/29 in four overs) was Hong Kong’s bowlers’ pick.
Chasing 193, Hong Kong had posted 51/2 in their powerplay. Babar Hayat (41 off 35 balls) and Kinchit Shah (30 off 28 balls) played some solid knocks. But it was not enough to help Hong Kong shock the mighty Indians as they fell 40 runs short of a win.
They finished off their innings at 152/5 in their 20 overs. India earned direct qualification to the Super Four Phase of the tournament.
Ravindra Jadeja (1/15 in four overs) was the pick of the bowlers for India. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Arshdeep Singh and Avesh Khan also took a wicket each. Suryakumar Yadav was adjudged as ‘Man of the Match’ for his brilliant knock.