India’s middle-order batter Suryakumar Yadav was in awe of Rohit Sharma after the latter’s blitz set the tone for their side to chase 158 with six wickets and seven balls to spare in the first T20I at Eden Gardens in Kolkata, With the result, India took a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
Following India’s six-wicket win against West Indies in the first T20I at Eden Gardens, India’s Suryakumar Yadav addressed a virtual press conference. He said India’s limited-overs captain Rohit Sharma is leading from the front wonderfully, and his breezy cameo of 19-ball 40, laced with four fours and three sixes in the series opener, was no different.
“What to say? The entire world is seeing his batting. He is a class player. He played the way he has been playing for India all these years. He is not doing anything different. When he is batting in the powerplay, when he feels he is in good touch, he is capitalising on it. He is doing it wonderfully, leading from the front”. Suryakumar told the press.
Despite Ishan Kishan’s struggle at the other end after being set 158, Rohit’s flamboyant start helped India reach 64 in 7.2 overs before Roston Chase dismissed him. Virat Kohli and Rishabh Pant did not last long enough either. But Suryakumar and Venkatesh Iyer held on, forging an unbroken 48-run stand for the fifth wicket to see off the target in the penultimate over. Suryakumar remained unbeaten on 18-ball 34, and Venkatesh on 13-ball 24.
While talking about his innings, Suryakumar said it was required for himself as well to stay in good touch. “It was very important for me to stay till the end and finish off the game. I have been in this situation many times. Every time, when I used to get out, leaving 20-25 runs behind, I used to feel bad. I think the situation was perfect. I just needed to raise my hand and bail the side out. Very happy to be on the winning side”, he added.
Suryakumar also hailed Venkatesh for staying till the end to get the job done. “The way he came into bat, that positivity rubbed off on me. He started his innings with a boundary, I felt it was the perfect platform for the both of us to stay there and finish off the game”, he stated.
India will again take on West Indies on February 18 in the second T20I at the same venue in the aim to win the series.