Durban: India’s T20I captain, Suryakumar Yadav, is tantalizingly close to etching his name in the history books. Currently ranked as the world’s best T20I batsman, Surya needs just 15 runs to become the first Indian batter to reach 2000 runs in T20 internationals, a record currently held by the legendary Virat Kohli.
Surya has amassed 1985 runs in just 55 innings, putting him just on the cusp of breaking Kohli’s record, achieved in 56 matches. He needs only 15 runs in the opening T20I against South Africa in Durban to equal Kohli’s feat.
Globally, the record is jointly held by Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan, who both reached the 2000-run mark in a mere 52 innings each. What truly sets Surya apart is his batting position, consistently lower than the aforementioned players. Remarkably, 59% of his T20I runs (1171/1985) have come in the middle overs at a blistering strike rate of 165. He stands alone as the only batter with an SR exceeding 160 having scored a minimum of 500 runs in this phase.
South Africa have historically been a favourable opponent for Surya, with 3 fifties in 4 innings at a strike rate of 185. Against South African pacers specifically, his strike rate rises to a staggering 203, the second-highest against any pace attack he has faced in at least 3 innings.
As India gears up for the first T20I, Suryakumar has emphasized the importance of maintaining the fearless approach that fueled their resounding 4-1 victory over Australia in the previous series. He urged his teammates to replicate the fearless style they exhibit in franchise cricket.