Lucknow, Jan 30 (IANS) In a low-scoring second T20I which went down the wire, India’s in-form batter Suryakumar Yadav steered his side home with an unbeaten 26 off 31 balls, including slapping Blair Tickner over mid-off for the winning boundary and level three-match series to set up a decider in Ahmedabad on Wednesday.
On a pitch which was aiding spinners a lot, New Zealand’s five spinners kept India in check. But Suryakumar and captain Hardik Pandya had an unbeaten 31-run stand off 32 balls to get India over the line in a chase of 100.
Suryakumar, who took Player of the Match award, said in a video posted by BCCI that he was confident in himself staying at the crease till the end and get the win for India in the last over.
“I was there in the middle with a clear mindset that it’s a tough wicket to play on and it was important for someone to play till last. It was equally important to build small partnerships and adapt to the situations.”
“I knew this was a totally different wicket than the ones I play freely. I was confident that if I managed to stay till last, I could win the game in the last over as well. When Hardik came in, we had a chat and planned to take the game till last.”
Asked about the pressure of three runs needed off the last two balls, he remarked, “We were confident enough to win the game and Hardik and I were in a conversation that if any one of us gets the big hit, the match is ours. We did not panic and the communication with Hardik was very important.”
In a light-hearted moment, Suryakumar credited Yuzvendra Chahal for his batting tips and said, “Thank you, I am using your batting tips. You are my batting coach. Sab sikhata hai yeh (He teaches me everything).”
In the video, left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav asked his long-time spin twin, leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal about the feeling within him on becoming the highest wicket-taker in men’s T20Is for India, which he achieved during the second T20I.
“It feels good to be the highest wicket-taker in any format. I had never thought of this when I started playing.”