I'm always looking to play fearless cricket, says Yadav

Yadav upped the tempo with some audacious strokes, including a 69-metre six on the last over that brought up his fifty from just 22 deliveries



India's Suryakumar Yadav plays a shot during the match against Hong Kong. (AP)
India's Suryakumar Yadav plays a shot during the match against Hong Kong. (AP)
by

James Jose

Published: Wed 31 Aug 2022, 11:04 PM

Suryakumar Yadav came up with a blinder of an innings to help India set up an imposing total in the big victory over Hong Kong in their Group A fixture of the DP World Asia Cup in Dubai on Wednesday night and the 31-year-old said that he is looking to play fearless cricket and express himself.

Coming in at No.4 and at the fall off opener KL Rahul’s wicket with India on 94 in 13 overs, Yadav upped the tempo with some audacious strokes, including a 69-metre six on the last over that brought up his fifty from just 22 deliveries.

Shot from childhood days

And Yadav, who top scored for India with an unbeaten 68 from just 26 deliveries that was peppered with six sixes and six boundaries, said that he come to the wicket with a set plan and revealed that he had played that shot (where he hit that 69-metre six) when during his childhood days.

"I haven't practiced those strokes before, but when I was younger with my friends, we would play a lot of rubber ball cricket on hard surfaces. So the shots have come there,” Yadav had said during the innings break.

“When I was sitting inside with Rishabh (Pant) and Rohit (Sharma) bhai, I told them I want to get the tempo higher to try and reach around 170,” he added.

Premeditated shots

Later on, after India sealed a comfortable 40-run win, Yadav revealed that most of his shots were premeditated.

“Some of (my shots) are predetermined, because this format is about how you prepare when you go in to bat. But it's important to stay in the present when you go out there,” he explained.

"(The pitch) was a little slow, watching from outside, but my plan was clear. My role was to take the tempo up and express myself,” said Yadav.

Flexibility

Yadav also said that he is prepared to bat anywhere in the batting order, according to the team’s plans, heading into the T20 World Cup. Yadav had been promoted to open the batting along with skipper Rohit in the T20 series against the West Indies.

“I think you've got to be flexible, you should be good at batting at any number. I really love and enjoy it,” he said.

Better with the ball

Meanwhile, captain Rohit Sharma was happy with the win but said that they could have done better with the ball.

Medium pacer Avesh Khan conceded 53 runs from his four overs, while left-arm pacer Arshdeep Singh too was a tad expensive, going for 44 runs in his four overs at an economy of 11.00, although both took a wicket each.

"We batted pretty well to start with, and got to a very good score at the end, and came out and bowled reasonably well. I thought we could have done slightly better with the ball,” said Rohit.

Left speechless by Yadav

Rohit said he was left speechless by Yadav’s blistering knock that paved the way for a stiff total.

“Honestly the kind of innings that (Suryakumar) played today, the words will be short. Every now and then, he comes up with such knocks. With the confidence he's got, he's going to come out and bat fearlessly, and some of the shots he played today, they are not in the books. The shot selection was also crucial, we know he can play all around the park, and that's what he did today,” he said.

Guys buying into flexibility

Rohit also continued to emphasise on flexibility in the batting order and said that the guys have brought into the idea.

“It is something we want to keep in our minds. We've also informed the group about this. Most of the guys are ready to take the opportunity and bat wherever they need to. We can talk about flexibility but you have to go out there and do it too. When we see the right match-ups, we're going to try and use that,” Rohit said.

Proud of the team

Meanwhile, Hong Kong captain Nizakat Khan was proud of his team despite going down to India.

"I think the way we started with the ball, we were amazing till 13th over, fielding was good too. But we slipped after that, especially in the death overs, but the way Suryakumar batted, it was good to watch,” said Nizakat.

“The Asia Cup is a big opportunity for all the boys. I know we were away for a long time, boys were playing with injuries, credit goes to them, very proud of them. I think we're going to sit down tomorrow, we will look at our death bowling, and we will improve in the next game,” he added.

Lot of positives

Meanwhile, batsman Babar Hayat, who top scored for Hong Kong with 41 from 35 balls that had three boundaries and two sixes, said that they can take a lot of positives from this game.

"Since we were chasing around 200, we had to play our shots. I was playing my shots and they were coming off nicely,” said Hayat.

“The way we've played in Oman and here we did well. Our fielding and batting was good - lots of positives to take for the next game. Couple of guys bowled well too,” he added.


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