Suryakumar Yadav’s ability to have that extra second to read deliveries perfectly and even score maximums off “bailout shots” is exemplary, said New Zealand rising T20 star Glenn Phillips.
Suryakumar was adjudged the Player-of-the-Series on Tuesday following his breathtaking 51-ball 111-run knock in the second T20I.
“The thing that strikes me the most is actually how he manages to predict so well where the ball is going,” said Phillips during the press conference after the third T20I ended in a tie following a rain interruption.
“It’s not necessarily about the premeditation, per se. He has a rough idea of where the bowler is going to bowl. But he still has the ability to guess which ball it is going to be and then have bailout options. If it’s not there and, unlike other people, his bailout options still seem to go for four or six.”
Suryakumar smashed seven sixes and 11 fours during his incredible innings which saw some unconventional shots as he hit a few behind the third man fielder.
“That shot the other day was hard length on off-stump and he manages to head it over third man with a straight bat. So that definitely strikes me as something that is next level,” Phillips said.
“Obviously, playing with premeditation has its downfalls as well. But while you’re flying high, absolutely and it’s unbelievable to watch.”
Arshdeep Singh and Mohammed Siraj claimed four wickets each on Tuesday to bundle out New Zealand for 160 in 19.4 overs after the host was going strong at 130 for two in the 16th over.
Talking about India’s bowling attack, Phillips said, “The Indians have so much depth, the IPL (Indian Premier League) just shows that. For guys like Arshdeep and Siraj to come in and know that they can already perform at this level. And the control that Arshdeep has, swinging the ball both ways with Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar) up at the front there, that is an incredible skill to have, especially being able to hit the whole of the death on demand.
“Siraj’s pace and bounce today really was was quite tough to play. He was very aggressive and I guess that’s something that’s come from playing through the IPL where you have to give it your all no matter what because the stakes are so high and the intensity of the game is so high.”
There has been a lot of criticism about India’s batting approach in the aftermath of the T20 World Cup exit.
Asked if an obsolete batting approach is the reason behind Asian teams, including India, not winning World Cups, Phillips answered in the negative.
“I, personally, don’t think so. I know there are speculations and everything going around about how T20 is being played and everyone wants to see those 200 and 190 games but it comes down to adjusting to the pitches that might not necessarily allow 190.
“I don’t think India or we are going about batting in a right or wrong way. If it comes off and a team scores 160-170 and defends it, then people say well batted. But if a team chases that in 16 overs, it is hard to say without looking back,” he added.
India’s inability to score enough in the PowerPlay was one of the reasons behind its semifinal exit from the T20 showpiece.
“You know, the Indian side has an amazing batting lineup, and at some stage, they’re going to come off and potentially score 230 in a T20 game,” said Phillips.
“But what they’re also trying to do is, be in the game, always try and be in a position to win, even if it means soaking up a few balls if they have to, in order to come back later on. Unfortunately, if you go with the approach of soaking up a few balls to try and finish them as well, and then it doesn’t finish well then it looks really really bad. So it’s a little bit of a tough one,” he said.