The debate around who’s the better batter between India’s Suryakumar Yadav and Pakistan star Mohammad Rizwan began with their competition for the top spot in the ICC rankings chart for T20I batting. Rizwan ruled for a short while after pipping Babar Azam for the throne, before Suryakumar nudged ahead in the race with his breath-taking performances in the ongoing T20 World Cup. His unbeaten 25-ball 61 against Zimbabwe was an epitome of why he has been able to take the throne. Former Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi too was mighty impressed with Suryakumar’s knock but through his praise for the India batting star, he lashed out at Rizwan.
Suryakumar on Sunday played a thunderous knock for India in their final group game in Melbourne. Clobbering six boundaries and four maximums, which included that ridiculous six over fine leg against an outside off delivery, Suryakumar handed India a match-winning total.
Earlier that same day, Pakistan played against Bangladesh in what was a virtual quarterfinal. Rizwan, who has not been at his best in this World Cup, huffed and puffed his way to a run-a-ball 32. The sluggish knock did hurt Pakistan in their run chase until Mohammad Haris came to the rescue with his fiery knock.
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During a discussion on the two knocks on Samaa TV, the anchor, recalling one of Rizwan’s statement where he was asked if he wanted to change his gameplan given that oppositions have now been studying his strategy and outsmarting him and the batter did not pay heed to it, asked Afridi whether it is time for the Pakistan opener to learn a thing or two from Suryakumar and the flexibility he shows.
Afridi replied saying, “Bilkul theek kaha. Sabse important cheez jo mention huya hai ki 200-250 domestic matches khel ke woh India team main aaya hai. Uss ladke ko apni game ka pata hai. Jitni bhi shotein marta hai woh achi ball o pe bhi maarta hai because uss cheez ki usne practice ki hai. Jitni skill aapke paas hogi utne ache impact wale player aap honge. Toh apko shots develop karne parenge, yeh format hi waisa hai (You are absolutely right. The most important thing about Suryakumar is that he played 200-250 matches in domestic circuit before coming to international cricket. He knows his game. And he can target the good balls as well because he practices those shots. In this format, you need to evolve as a batter and develop your game).
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