'Never going to be easy for bowlers to execute their plans' - Zaheer Khan explains what sets Suryakumar Yadav apart

Suryakumar Yadav smashed his fourth T20I century in the third and final T20I between India and South Africa on Thursday, December 14.

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Suryakumar Yadav Century.
Suryakumar Yadav Century. (Photo Source: PHILL MAGAKOE/AFP via Getty Images)

Suryakumar Yadav enhanced his reputation in the shortest format of the game by registering a record-equaling fourth century during the third and final T20I against South Africa on Thursday, December 14, in Johannesburg. After being invited to bat first, India's captain led from the front as his 100 off 56 balls helped India get to a strong total of 201/7. Suryakumar hit seven fours and eight sixes during his exhilarating knock.

Former Indian speedster Zaheer Khan lauded Suryakumar after his brilliant knock and explained why bowlers find it difficult to bowl against the Mumbai batter. Zaheer noted that because the 33-year-old plays shots in all directions of a cricket field, it is very hard for a bowler to implement their plans.

“He is building a reputation for himself and there is no doubt about that. He has got shot-making ability all across the ground and that makes it very difficult for bowlers. When you are able to hit one side of the pitch, then as a bowler you always have a chance in this format with the field restrictions,” Zaheer was quoted as saying on Crizbuzz.

“But when you have a batter like Surya, who can hit the ball to long on, midwicket, hit sixes over covers and uses the pace by opening the face of the bat nicely, it’s tough for bowlers. He picks his fielders, picks his spots and once he is on song and that kind of a zone, it’s never going to be easy for bowlers to execute their plans,” he stated.

'Try and get Suryakumar out' - Zaheer Khan's straightforward tip to bowlers

Suryakumar equaled the record jointly held by Rohit Sharma and Glenn Maxwell for the most number of centuries in T20Is (four). The flamboyant right-hander also has the most number of T20I centuries batting at No. 3 or below. Zaheer said that getting Suryakumar out should be the main motive for opposition bowlers.

“You just going to give yourself the best chance to bowl the deliveries and get him out, that’s one way of stopping him. That’s what eventually happened,” Zaheer added.

Chasing a daunting target of 202, the Proteas were bundled out for just 95 as India won by 106 runs to level the three-match series 1-1. Kuldeep Yadav starred for the visitors with the ball as he bagged a five-for. Fellow tweaker Ravindra Jadeja also picked up a couple of wickets, while Mukesh Kumar and Arshdeep Singh chipped in with one wicket apiece. Suryakumar was adjudged Player of the Match as well as Player of the Series.

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