The second T20I match between India and South Africa at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium yielded an aggregate of 458 runs. From the run-fest, India opener KL Rahul made an eye-pleasing 57 off 28 balls, laced with five fours and four sixes, to set the foundation for 237/3.
It was Suryakumar Yadav who brought out full carnage of 360 degree shots with a sizzling 61 off just 22 balls, helped by five fours and as many hits over the fence, to power India towards a mammoth score.
But Rahul expressed surprise over him getting the Player-of-the-Match award in India’s 16-run win, which also clinched the series in their favour.
“I am surprised I am getting the Man-of-the-Match award, Surya should have gotten it. He changed the game. Having batted in the middle order, I have realised that it is difficult. DK doesn’t always get too many balls to face, and he was phenomenal, and so were Surya and Virat,” said Rahul in the post-match presentation ceremony.
In the last match against the Proteas at Thiruvananthapuram, Rahul had to hang around for making an unbeaten 51 off 56 balls. But in Guwahati, he was at his attacking best and taking the bowlers to the cleaners.
“It is important as an opener to understand what is required on a day and give it your best. It is the mindset I have always played in and will continue to do the same. Satisfying to test yourself in different conditions.
“The back-foot punch off the first ball set me up. When I play both sides of the wicket, I know my balance is good. It tells me my head is stable,” added Rahul.
Rahul admitted that during the 96-run opening stand, he and Rohit were looking at a total of around 180-185, but it went above that.
“Quite honestly, after the first two overs, the chat between me and Rohit was that the pitch was gripping. We thought 180-185 would be a good target. But the game surprises us.
“The crowds always turn up in India. It has been a while since cricket has been played in full stadiums. Phenomenal to see.”
Suryakumar, on the other hand, said it was important for him to maintain the tempo which Rahul and Rohit had set in the fiery start for India.
“We were batting first, so it was very clear that I had to keep the tempo that was set by Rahul and Rohit and I just went and enjoyed myself.