Suryakumar Yadav | Photo: Twitter/ICC
Thiruvananthapuram: Ever since he walked into the national side after a successful Indian Premier League season last year, Suryakumar Yadav has been an untameable beast because of his ability to have a go at bowlers from the very first ball.
His ability to hit the ball all over the park and find gaps, his admirable wrist work and effortless sweep shots make him India's own Mr 360. With such abilities, in addition to the willpower to deliver the right finishes, his fans have compared him with the likes of the legendary Australian cricketer Michael Bevan and South African icon AB De Villiers.
After showing promise in 2021, Suryakumar has taken his game to a whole new level. He is the highest run-scorer in the shortest format this year. In 20 appearances, he has scored 682 runs at an average of 37.88. One century and four half-centuries have come out of his bat. His best individual score this year is 117.
The star batter's performance remains crucial for the Men in Blue heading into ICC T20 World Cup later this year, which his side would want to win after a disappointing Super 12 phase exit last year.
Before the T20 World Cup, a series against South Africa is another opportunity for him to cement his status as one of India's most-trusted T20I batters currently and re-write the record books in two ways.
First, Suryakumar is just seven runs shy of surpassing his compatriot Shikhar Dhawan to amass the most T20I runs for India in a calendar year. In 2018, Shikhar scored 689 runs at an average of 40.52 in 18 matches. He scored six half-centuries and his best individual score that year was 92.
With the form Suryakumar is in, breaking Shikhar Dhawan's record does not seem to be a difficult task for him.
Suryakumar and Shikhar are followed in this category by Virat Kohli (641 runs in 2016) and skipper Rohit Sharma (590 in 2018).
Many admirers of his game have described Suryakumar, who has smashed 42 sixes in 20 T20 innings for India so far this year, as India's "six machine". These are the highest number of sixes by a batter in T20I cricket this year. In terms of the most number of sixes, Suryakumar is followed by a safe margin by Rohit Sharma (27 sixes) in India and Tony Pala Ura of Papua New Guinea (39 sixes) internationally.
One more six will see him surpass Pakistan's Mohammad Rizwan, who had hit 42 sixes in 2021.
The three-match T20I series between India and South Africa will kick off today from Thiruvananthapuram. The second and the final T20 matches will be played on October 2 and October 4, respectively.
After this, both the teams will also play three ODIs from October 6-11. (ANI)