Virat Kohli said that he believes Suryakumar Yadav can change the complexion of the game against any team if he bats in the zone he did against Hong Kong on Wednesday.
Suryakumar Yadav walked in with India's run rate hovering around seven runs per over and made run-scoring look extremely easy, racing away to an unbeaten 68 off 26 balls.
The blitz from the middle-order batter helped India make 192, a total that appeared unlikely at the halfway stage when India were 70/1.
In a post-match chat with Yadav, Kohli, who was at the other end while Yadav went on the rampage, revealed that he was "completely blown away" by the knock.
"SKY played an outstanding knock, a knock that I enjoyed thoroughly from the other end," Kohli said in the chat with Yadav on BCCI.tv.
"I've seen so many innings when we play in the IPL, or that being done to other teams, but this was my first experience of watching very closely. I was completely blown away.
"I honestly believe that the way you played today, if you can stay in that zone, you can literally change the complexion of the game against any team in the world."
The duo had put on a 98-run partnership off 42 balls with Yadav doing the bulk of the scoring. Walking in at No.4, Yadav scored seven boundaries off his first 15 balls to swing the momentum India's way.
"When I was sitting inside, me and Rishabh [Pant] were speaking about how we could take game this ahead as the wicket was a little slow," Yadav said in the same conversation.
"When I went into bat, I tried to just be myself and do what I love doing. It was a really simple plan: taking the first 10 balls, I wanted to hit three-four boundaries and when I got that, I just kept batting."
Of two stellar knocks, a dominating partnership, mutual admirations & much more 💥👌— BCCI (@BCCI) September 1, 2022
𝐃𝐨 𝐍𝐨𝐭 𝐌𝐢𝐬𝐬 - Half-centurions @imVkohli & @surya_14kumar chat up after #TeamIndia's win against Hong Kong 👍 - by @ameyatilak
Full interview📽️👇 #AsiaCup2022 https://t.co/Hyle2h3UBQ pic.twitter.com/39Ol62g2Qf
Yadav brought up his half-century off 22 balls, but Yadav said that after the first 10 balls, he knew he needed strong support from the other end to keep going the way he was.
"I knew I needed you there. That’s why I told you to just bat from one end. It will be easy for you to cover on later because I’ve seen you a lot of times. When you bat 30-35 balls, your next 10 balls you bat with a strike rate of 200-250. So it was important for me that you stay there so I bat freely till the 20th over.”
Kohli unfurled a few shots himself but was mostly the anchor in the partnership. Returning after a break of more than a month, Kohli said that he felt "mentally fresh" and stuck to a simple game plan.
"I really enjoyed myself in the last game as well, against a quality attack. I kind of got the pace of the wicket, but I knew my job was to stabilise the innings and build a partnership with whoever I play with. And in between when the situation allows me to, take a risk and find a boundary every now and then."
"For me, milestones and number of runs are irrelevant, it's how you feel when you bat, and I felt very good."
"But again, when you [Yadav] came in, I told you I'm going to keep going but the moment you started and gave me a clear indication of how you're feeling, my role immediately changed to holding one end.
"As you said, you could go out and express yourself almost every ball. That is something I enjoy doing, so that even if god forbid you didn't get those runs, then I could take charge, or we have Rishabh [Pant] or in another game Hardik [Pandya], Dinesh [Karthik] or [Ravindra Jadeja] Jaddu.
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