'Back of mind, I knew he would bowl short ball': Suryakumar recalls six off Archer on first ball on India batting debut

Updated on May 26, 2021 09:29 AM IST

Indian batsman Suryakumar Yadav recalled the six he hit off England pacer Jofra Archer on the first ball during the the 4th T20I in Ahmedabad.

Suryakumar Yadav slammed a six to Jofra Archer on the first ball(HT Collage)
Suryakumar Yadav slammed a six to Jofra Archer on the first ball(HT Collage)
By, New Delhi

Suryakumar Yadav had to wait to get his opportunity to represent the Men in Blue. In 2020, he emerged as one of the best batsmen in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for the champions Mumbai Indians. But despite his performance, he was snubbed for the Australia tour.

At the age of 30, and not being able to make India debut, it might have deflated many players. But Suryakumar kept pushing, continued to work on his fitness and performed brilliantly in the domestic cricket, to see himself earn a call-up for the limited-overs series against England.

He made his debut in the 2nd T20I against England but he did not get to bat. Suryakumar missed the 3rd T20I, but then returned in the 4th match to smash 51 runs off 37 balls.

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Speaking in a recent video uploaded on Mumbai Indians' Youtube channel, Suryakumar Yadav said revealed how excited was he to go and bat for the first time in an Indian jersey.

“If you must have seen, I was very excited at that time. Obviously, I wasn’t happy because Rohit (Sharma) had just got out. But when it was going in, I was so excited, I ran in to bat. I had waited for a long time (for this opportunity)," he said.

"Sitting in the dressing room, I had thoughts like - when will the match start? When will my turn come to bat? When I wore my pads and came out to sit in the dugout, I was a little nervous. It is important to be nervous. If you are not nervous, how will you go in and perform?” Suryakumar Yadav added.

“As I was running in to bat, everything started running in my mind. I was thinking what do I do when I bat at number three for other teams, not only for Mumbai Indians but even for my state back home. I got an answer when I was taking my guard, that I shouldn’t do anything different. I just need to keep playing as I have done throughout my career. Be yourself. I have reached this point by doing the same things,” he further said.

The batsman recalled the six he hit off England pacer Jofra Archer on the first ball itself that showcased his intentions.

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"People often ask me about that first-ball six off Jofra Archer. It was important to stay calm and I knew what he had been doing in the IPL. How he comes hard at the batters and what kind of deliveries he bowls to a new batsman at the crease.

"Back of the mind, I knew he would bowl that (short ball) delivery. Thankfully, he did. I don’t know what would have happened had he bowled a different ball. But it all worked out well in the end and I am happy,” Suryakumar Yadav signed off.

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