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Surya stamps his mark as T20I GOAT with fourth hundred

Last updated on 14 Dec 2023 | 06:18 PM
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Surya stamps his mark as T20I GOAT with fourth hundred

Playing only his 57th innings, Suryakumar Yadav has already leveled the record for most T20I centuries

It wasn’t long back when Suryakumar Yadav made his long-impending T20I debut for India, in March 2021. He struck his first ball for six, hooking an express pacer like Jofra Archer into the stands. Surya’s first ball in international cricket was enough to send social media into a frenzy, raising the hopes of a prosperous T20I career. 

However, few would have guessed he would level the record for most T20I hundreds within 33 months, in less than 60 innings, and earn the sobriquet of Mr. 360. 

T20 hundreds are rare, and with his 100 off 56 balls in the third T20I against South Africa, he has notched up four tons in the format, the joint most alongside Rohit Sharma and Glenn Maxwell

For context, Rohit made his T20I debut way back in 2007 and has played 140 innings. Maxwell debuted in 2012 and has featured in 92 innings. On top of that, each of Surya’s four hundreds have come as a non-opener. Also, each in a different country - England, India, New Zealand, and now South Africa. 

There are three batters with three T20I hundreds each - Colin Munro from New Zealand, Sabawoon Davizi from the Czech Republic and Babar Azam from Pakistan. Between their nine hundreds, only one has come as a non-opener. This only highlights how good Surya has been in the format. 

He already has over 2000 runs in around two and a half years while maintaining a strike rate of 171.6. His affinity to hit sixes is what separates him from the rest. 

Among the 26 batters who have notched up over 2000 runs in the format, Surya’s sixes-per-innings ratio of 2.2 comfortably beats the others. He is already India’s second-highest-six hitter, surpassing Virat Kohli. 

The sixes were the heart and soul of Surya’s fourth hundred on Thursday (December 14). He was 35 off 29 balls, with a dot ball percentage of 45%, playing a number of balls straight to the fielder. He then broke the shackles with a six against Andile Phehlukwayo. He followed it up with a four and then two more sixes, reaching his half-century off just 32 balls. Well, that is acceptable any day. Especially, when the second set of 50 runs came off only 24 balls. 

Overall, Surya hammered eight sixes, both in front and behind the wickets, justifying the Mr. 360-degree tag for the umpteenth time in his career. He flicked his wrists and twisted his body in the typical Surya fashion. He alone trumped the Proteas by five runs and hit three more sixes than the hosts who were bowled out for 95. 

The equation is simple - Suryakumar Yadav is the best T20I batter right now and statistically, probably still the best among all-time greats. 

Not long back, India tried to manufacture an ODI batter out of him, but we all know how that worked out. 

“India should look at Surya as a T20 batter (only) and set him free even more,” said Sanjay Manjrekar in the commentary box during the SKY madness today. 

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