Suryakumar Yadav is yet to complete two years in international cricket, but given the plethora of impressive innings he has played, even the most ardent SKY fans will find it difficult to pick one knock that stands head and shoulders above the rest. Since making his India debut in March of 2021, Suryakumar has featured in 57 matches, scoring almost 1800 runs with two centuries and 14 fifties. But it is his exploits in T20s that has captured the imagination of the world. Not only is Surya the No. 1 ranked T20I batter, but the India middle order batsman also holds the distinction of scoring the most runs in the format this year.

So when Suryakumar was asked to name his favourite T20 innings, one would assume it would be one of the two centuries he scored this year – 117 against England and 111 not out against New Zealand last week. But no. The innings Surya played against England on March 14 last year, where he scored a blistering half-century to guide his team home takes the cake for him.

“I think the one which I got on debut… debut fifty. We won that game so that is very special to me,” Suryakumar said on the series “25 Questions” on ESPNCricinfo.

The innings Suryakumar is talking about was the fourth T20I of a five-match series. Even though Surya had made his debut in the previous game, he did not get the chance to bat. Hence, in his maiden innings for India, Surya introduced himself to international cricket by playing a ridiculous reverse ramp off Jofra Archer for six. He scored 57 off 31 balls hitting six boundaries and three sixes as India beat England by eight runs.

Another T20 innings which Surya holds dear to him is a match from the Indian Premier League. IPL 2020 was a breakout year for SKY – he scored 480 runs as Mumbai Indians won the title for a record fifth time – which put him on the map and paved the way for his maiden India call-up. However, it was the year before where Suryakumar put everyone on notice, scoring 424 runs in yet another title-winning campaign for MI.

“There was a knock which I played in Qualifier 1 in 2019 between MI and CSK in Chennai. It was a tricky chase of 130-135 runs. There I got 70 not out and we won that game. So that is also very special. I can watch that innings again and again,” he added.

As SKY rightly pointed out, although MI were chasing 132, it wasn’t a cakewalk by any stretch of the imagination. MI had lost openers Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock cheaply before SKY and Ishan Kishan came together. The pair stitched a partnership of 80 out of which Ishan’s contribution was merely 28. It was Surya all the way, who played a blazing array of strokes and took MI over the line rather comfortably in the end.




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