SYDNEY: Suryakumar Yadav not only seems to have taken the pitch out of the equation when batting, he also seems to have developed a special rapport with India’s man-of-the-moment Virat Kohli.
In recent months, ‘SKY’ has found himself unleashing some of his incredible range of shots with Kohli gazing in awe from the other side, most notably during the incredible 26-ball 68 against Hong Kong.
Also on Thursday, Kohli appeared to be pleased with Surya’s range of wrist shots and ability to get into position early before kickoff. The sight of Kohli happily punching the air as Surya goes ballistic is starting to become common.
Kohli is the yin of the yang of Suryakumar. One, Kohli, is more conventional: he takes his time settling in, calmly pats the ball before going wild when triggered. “SKY” is a bundle of dynamite ready to explode at any moment to relieve the pressure of the senior pro.

“He just erases your thoughts,” Suryakumar said of Kohli. “When I was batting and was a bit confused when I was on the inside, he would just come up to me and tell me what delivery (I) can now expect from the bowler. It’s a really good camaraderie and I’m really enjoying playing with him right now.
The pair now have four partnerships over 50 for the T20I’s third wicket over the past three months, with two over a hundred and two almost there. It started with the unbeaten 98 point position against HK in August, followed by the 104 point position against Australia in Hyderabad in September and the 102 against South Africa in Guwahati in October.

On Thursday, they chained an unbeaten 95 against the Netherlands. Clearly, there’s magic happening there: in 12 innings across all formats, they’ve scored 551 runs at 61.22.
So what makes the partnership click on a consistent basis? “I feel like we respect each other’s game when we beat together. For example, if I get a few limits from one end, then he tries to turn and keep the intention to look for good shots.
“We try to run as hard as possible. You know, when you punch with him, you have to run hard. If I get some boundaries early, our partnership needs to be stretched and that’s what I’m doing,” Suryakumar said.
Just to put things into perspective, Suryakumar is playing on Australian soil for the first time.

“It’s my first time to Australia,” he said. “There was a challenge. Obviously bigger pitches, faster wickets.
In the world of SKY, the reverse logic works better: “At home in Mumbai, Wankhede also has good counters, so that helped me. I really like hitting here! I wonder what Australian cricketers have to say about that!
No wonder the Netherlands are mostly wary of Suryakumar ahead of the game. After all, he could make the difference between a humiliating loss to India and a saving defeat.
Pacer Paul van Meekeren explained why. “I think we know how good ‘SKY’ is. Over the past 12 months, if not more, I felt he was the biggest threat to bowl,” Meekeren said.
“With his open position, the margin of error is much smaller compared to Kohli, who is a bit more traditional. The biggest pressure came when I was bowling at ‘SKY’. If you miss a little, he punishes you. India will be hoping the duo can repeat the magic against powerhouse South Africa in Perth.



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