Cricket

India vs South Africa, 1st T20I: It was unbelievable for Suryakumar Yadav to come and play those shots, says KL Rahul

India took a 1-0 lead in the series against South Africa after a win by 8 wickets in the first match in Thiruvananthapuram.

India vs South Africa, 1st T20I: It was unbelievable for Suryakumar Yadav to come and play those shots, says KL Rahul

Suryakumar Yadav and KL Rahul took India over the line in the first T20I. AP

India opener KL Rahul showered praise on Suryakumar Yadav who once again smashed the bowlers in his own style and seemed like he was batting on a different pitch where other batters struggled to score freely against the South African pace attack on Wednesday.

India went 1-0 up in the series after beating Proteas by eight wickets in the first T20I in Thiruvananthapuram. Chasing a small target of 107, the home side lost Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli early in the chase but KL Rahul and Suryakumar Yadav steadied the ship for the team and eventually took them home.

While KL struggled a bit in the early stage of the innings, SKY was on song right from the word go as the two batters notched up individual fifties.

KL who chipped in with an unbeaten stand of 93 runs for the second wicket with SKY lauded the latter for his knock. Suryakumar Yadav struck 50* off 33.

“Definitely, right up there (as the toughest pitch). We have played in some difficult conditions like this but I haven’t got runs, so this was hard work. It was unbelievable for Surya to come out there and play those shots, we have seen how balls were flying, nipping around, two-paced and everything that can be hard for a batter that was the wicket today, and for Surya to come with that approach after the first ball that hit him, he just woke up and wanted to play his shots, be aggressive and take on the bowling,” KL said after the match.

 

He also explained that Suryakumar’s innings helped him to take his time and settle down. “That helped me take my time and play one end. (Expect that much help) Not that much. We did practice here yesterday and that was a humbling experience as well, we all came in prepared mentally as it was not going to be an easy wicket and I was ready to do the dirty work, ready to be challenged and get the job done for the team.

Earlier, the Indian seamers, especially Deepak Chahar and Arshdeep Singh rattled the South African batting line-up to 9/5 in less than three overs and were eventually restricted to 106/8 in 20 overs. Rahul lavished praise on Arshdeep for his contribution.

“He’s (Arshdeep) growing with each game and with each outing he gets better, he is somebody who has a big heart and I have seen him in close quarters while playing in the IPL. This season what he did for his franchise was phenomenal and to be the number one death bowler in a team which has Rabada speaks highly of him. We always want a left-arm seamer and it is great to have someone like Arshdeep,” he added.

The two sides will now lock horns with each other in the second T20I in Guwahati on Sunday.

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Updated Date: September 29, 2022 00:17:27 IST

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