Suryakumar Yadav, after a match-winning ton in the second T20I against New Zealand on Sunday, said he is confident he will get to play Test cricket for India soon.
The right-hander scored an unbeaten 111 off 51 as India beat the Kiwis by 65 runs at Mount Maunganui to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
Suryakumar, who is ranked No 1 in the men’s T20I rankings for batters, has had a phenomenal year with the bat in the shortest format. And after his latest exploits, he said he expects a Test call-up soon as well.
“Aa raha hain, woh (Test selection) bhi aa raha hain (it’s coming, that is also coming),” said Suryakumar with a smile when asked if that is around the corner.
“When we start playing cricket, we start with the red ball and I have also played first-class cricket for my Mumbai team... it was quite okay, so I have a fair idea about the Test format and I enjoy playing that format also. Hopefully, I will get the Test cap soon.”
Promoted to No 3 in the batting order in the absence of Virat Kohli, the 32-year-old played a stunning knock to help India finish with 191/6. In reply, the hosts were bowled-out for 126.
He has been in stunning form in recent months, currently the No 1 batter in men’s T20Is. But at 32, he is bit of a late bloomer at the international level.
“I always keep going back to my past. When I am in the room, or travelling with my wife, we keep talking how the situation was two-three years ago. What is the situation now, what has changed now from then, we keep discussing that time,” said Suryakumar.
“Obviously there was a bit of frustration that time but we always tried to see if there was something positive I could take out of that phase. How could I become a better cricketer, how to go one step ahead. After that time I tried to do different things, like eating good food, do quality practice sessions, sleeping on time, so today I am reaping the benefits of all those things I have done then.”
SKY, as he is popularly known, also said he himself gets amazed by some of the shots he plays. The Mumbaikar has made a habit of playing audacious strokes for boundaries and is a rare batter who can pick runs consistently from all parts of the ground.
“I also feel amazed seeing some strokes when I go back to my room, watching the highlights. Every time even if I do well or I am not doing well on that day, I do watch the highlights, but yeah, even I get surprised seeing those strokes,” said Surya.
“I never try to go ahead of the game, I never think today I am playing well so I will make ‘x’ number of runs because it is very important to stay in the present. If you think even for a minute that I am ahead of the game, or I am ahead of the bowlers, planning can go wrong there. So I try to stay in the present, and think about what I am supposed to do at that moment, rather than thinking ahead.”
At the Bay Oval on Sunday, Suryakumar’s last 64 runs came off just 18 balls. His innings had 11 fours and seven sixes and his strike rate was an incredible 217.64. The right-hander reflected on the confidence he is batting with at the moment.
“The confidence is always there that, yeah, I have a few runs behind my back. But, at the same time, there is a very thin line between you getting a bit complacent also when you are coming into any game after scoring runs,” he said.
“I think you have got to follow all your processes and routine in the same way what you have been doing when you have done well. So 99 percent of the time I try to do the same things on match days, like for example if I have to do a gym session, I have to eat lunch at the prefect time, I have to take a power nap for 15-20 minutes, so all these things, these are small, small routine which I try to do on game days and when I come to the ground I feel good. So that is my zone.”
He added, “I spend a lot of time on my off days with my wife, speak to my parents a lot, the one thing which keeps me grounded always is that they don’t talk about the game, no discussion about the game. That’s the most important thing and I will be really happy to be staying in that zone for a very long time from hereon.”
Quotes courtesy: PTI
You can watch the press conference here.