‘Main Virat ki batting dekhne baitha…’: Afridi’s stunning words for Suryakumar, Asia Cup 2022
Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi said he had tuned in to India vs Hong Kong match to watch Virat Virat Kohli but was taken aback by the breathtaking display of strokeplay of Suryakumar Yadav.
Suryakumar Yadav’s entry into the match against Hong Kong changed everything. He swept his first ball of the match against spinner Yasim Murtaza in the 14th over of India’s innings for a four. He backed that up with an identical shot in the next delivery to collect another boundary and since then things were never the same.
Suddenly there were no demons in the pitch, the ball was coming onto the bat nicely and the pressure was put right back on Hong Kong, who until then had managed to get a stranglehold on KL Rahul and Virat Kohli.
Thanks to Suryakumar Yadav’s brilliance, India scored more than 50 runs in the last three overs and their total, which was at best starting at 170-175 rocketed to 192 for 2 at the end of 20 overs. The right-hander remained unbeaten on 68 off 26 balls including six sixes and six fours scored at a strike rate in excess of 260.
Suryakumar’s brilliant innings which somewhat overshadowed Virat Kohli’s subdued but assuring unbeaten 59 off 44 balls earned plaudits from pretty much all quarters. Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi was the latest to list.
The former all-rounder who still holds the record for most sixes in ODI cricket, said he had tuned in to watch Virat Kohli but was taken aback by the breathtaking display of strokeplay by Suryakumar Yadav.
“Yes dekha tha, jo thoda time mila mujhe. Main Virat ki batting dekhne baitha hua tha. Wo kaafi time le raha tha. Usko bhi pata tha kitni zaroori hai uske lie ye. Aur performance chahe kisi bhi team k against ho, confidence toh milti hai age jake. Virat kaafi us tarha khela lekin jis tarha ye Kumar aya, ate hi usne pahle ball pe chouka, dusre ball pe chouka, bas wo ek positive frame of mind se aya hua tha.
Wo licence leke aya tha ki mujhe koi ball rokni nei hai. (Yes I saw it in the limited time I got. I sat to watch Virat’s batting. He was playing slowly as he knew how importantr this innings was for him. It opposition doesn’t matter. It will always give you confidence if you score runs. So he was playing like that but when Suryakumar came in… he hit his first ball for four, then the second ball for four and came in with a licence to attack eveything),” Afridi said on Samaa TV.
The former Pakistan captain also lauded Suryakumar’s body language and said the right-hander appeared confident even when he was taking singles.
“Body language is very important. You should appear confident even when you are taking a single, defending the ball or hitting a six. And the confidence he showed while hitting those big shots was superb. He entertained the crowd,” Afridi added.
There is a possibility of an India-Pakistan re-match on Sunday if the Babar Azam-led side beat Hong Kong on Friday to advance to the Super 4 stage of Asia Cup 2022.