It was Suryakumar Yadav all over again when India took the field against Sri Lanka on Saturday in Rajkot. The hosts lost an early wicket in the form of Ishan Kishan after opting to bat first. But that early success didn’t help the visitors much as the likes of Rahul Tripathi and Surya left no stone unturned to spoil their party.
Tripathi, who was playing just his 2nd international game, smashed a quickfire 16-ball 35 before the Rajkot crowd witnessed another ‘360-degree show’ by Suryakumar. With the help of 9 sixes and 7 boundaries, he scored an unbeaten 112 off 51 deliveries to guide India to a mammoth score of 228/5. Moreover, it was his third T20I hundred which came in just the 45th match of his career.
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Captain Hardik Pandya was the most delighted as the knocks of Tripathi and Surya shifted the momentum in India’s favour and they won the game by 99 runs, pocketing the series 2-1. Speaking at the post-match presser the Indian skipper said such players and their heroics always make his job easier while leading the side.
“It’s definitely very easy because today it felt like it was ‘Sri Lanka vs Surya’. That makes my life very easy as a captain and that’s the reason I’ve always mentioned that someone like him is so important in white-ball cricket. The way he plays the game, the way he plays some of his shots, breaks the morale of the bowler and helps the other batter as well,” Pandya told the reporters.
The Indian skipper also lauded Rahul Tripathi whose quick cameo amplified the Indian innings which suffered an early blow. Pandya said that the batter’s intent forced the Lankan bowlers to change their lengths.
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“We all saw what Surya did but special mention to Rahul Tripathi for the kind of intent he showed. That is something natural to him which can change the momentum. If you see the first couple of overs, the ball was doing something and other batters in the dugout thought that there is something in the wicket. But because of his intent, the ball stopped moving all of a sudden, they changed their length and it was all about the way they were chasing the game,” Pandya added.
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