“Suryakumar Yadav Not Yet The Best T20 Player From India”: New Zealand Pacer Tim Southee

Suryakumar Yadav’s 111 against New Zealand on Sunday added to his growing stock as a T20I batsman but veteran pacer Tim Southee said he needs to consistently prove himself to be India’s best in the shortest format. Suryakumar’s breathtaking 51-ball unbeaten 111 fired India to 191 for six as the visitors beat New Zealand by 65 runs in the second Twenty20 international here. “A lot of great T20 players have come from India, a lot of great cricketers. Surya is having a great 12 months and it’s all about him continuing to do what he’s been doing (for a while).” When asked if Suryakumar was the best T20 player from India, Southee said he bowled.

“India has produced so many amazing cricketers not only in the T20 format but in all three formats. You have got so many players who have played for a long time and achieved a lot in a long time.” Promoted to number three, the 32-year-old Suryakumar toyed with the New Zealand bowlers who were caught off guard by the Indian batsmen with some spectacular shots.

He hit boundaries and sixes at will, his last 64 coming off just 18 balls. His entertaining innings had 11 fours and seven sixes and his strike rate was an incredible 217.64.

“He (Suryakumar) is a player who can hit in different ways. He has been in great form in the last 12 months — IPL and international cricket. He came up with a very impressive knock today,” said the returning Southee. His figures were 3/34 in four overs.

Suryakumar went wild in the last over bowled by Lockie Ferguson, hitting four boundaries and a magnificent six over deep point. 72 runs in the last five overs.

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He had his moments in the Saudi match. He bowled a brilliant 20th over and stopped the free flow of runs with a hat-trick. He dismissed Washington Sundar, Deepak Hooda and Hardik Pandya.

“I was a bit lucky there, bowling the last over, it’s a nice feeling. Sometimes you bowl really well but don’t get rewarded, but today (it was different) it’s part of the game,” said the 33-year-old who has 106- Has taken 132 wickets in Twenty20 internationals.

Asked if it was difficult for the players to play in damp conditions, Southee said, “It’s never ideal (with a wet ball), but it’s the same for both teams. You have to adapt to the situation.” Regarding New Zealand’s eventual 65-run deficit, he said, “To chase that kind of total, you needed a decent partnership. On another day, you would have got two or three first wickets (in India’s innings).”

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