In-form batter Suryakumar Yadav on Sunday enthralled everyone by smashing a blistering century, his second in T20I cricket, to set the base for India's huge 65-run victory in the second T20I over New Zealand at a sell-out Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui.
On a sluggish pitch where almost all Indian batters found it tough to time the ball, Suryakumar, the world's top-ranked T20I batter, hit 11 fours and seven sixes all over the park in his trademark 360-degree style at a whopping strike-rate of 217.65 to be unbeaten on 111 off 51 balls.
Suryakumar continuing his rich vein of form fetched him huge praise from Virat Kohli and Sachin Tendulkar while fans were left wondering over what cheat code the right-hander uses to slam astonishing knocks so consistently.
"It feels good when people send messages or tweets about my innings, I have learnt a lot from Sachin (Tendulkar) sir when I used to play franchise cricket with him (at Mumbai Indians almost ten years ago). I also learn a lot from Virat (Kohli) bhai when we play together now, it feels very good."
"But at the same time, I would like to mention that, there is no cheat code. I have always been doing the same things that I do in the nets, and I play the same game wherever I play. I change nothing, just playing according to the format and with good intent, which is very important in this particular format," said Suryakumar to leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal in a video on the official website of the BCCI.
From being 57 off 35 balls at the end of the 16th over, Suryakumar smacked 54 runs off his last 16 balls to propel India to a challenging score of 191/6. Quizzed about his quick ability to shift gears, Suryakumar put it down to not thinking much about the game before the start of a match.
"As said before, I look to play with a positive intent in this format. I don't think too much before batting because the time to think is during practice sessions and in the (hotel) room. You cannot afford to take too much pressure on the field, you just need to enjoy."
"The one thing I have learnt since the time I have been playing knocks like this is, if the percentage of your fear of failure goes down, then you do not bring too much baggage. You enjoy your cricket and that is what I try to do."
Suryakumar also got a lucky fan in the video and got him to ask a question if he was the next Mr 360 in the cricketing world. "See, there is only one Mr.360 in world cricket (AB de Villiers), with whom Chahal has played as well. I did not avail the chance of playing with him, but I have talked with him. There is only one, you know who it is. I only try to play to the best of my ability and I want to be the next Suryakumar Yadav," he concluded.
With a 1-0 lead in the three-match series, India will be hoping that Suryakumar fires in the third T20I against New Zealand at McLean Park in Napier on Tuesday.