T20 World Cup: “That’s why Suryakumar is the No. 1 T20 player,” says Dravid

A tournament campaign involves ticking many boxes and as India moved into the ICC Twenty20 World Cup semifinal, coach Rahul Dravid felt that his unit has done well and said: “Hopefully we have got a couple of more good days in us.”

Speaking to the media after India prevailed over Zimbabwe, the batting legend praised Suryakumar Yadav’s astounding innings: “It was incredible. That’s why he is the No. 1 T20 player in the world. It’s not easy to be consistent with the kind of strike rate he’s going at. It is just fantastic the way he is playing and long may it continue.”

He was exceptional. He is such a 360-degree player and difficult to bowl to.

—   Zimbabwe captain Craig Ervine of Suryakumar Yadav

The coach also felt that Rishabh Pant was ready for the contest: “It is not that we ever lost confidence in Rishabh. He has been batting a lot in the nets, doing a lot of keeping practice and today we got an opportunity to play him in this game.”

Dravid also defended spinner Axar Patel: “This format is such that you can get taken apart, especially today when they lost a lot of wickets, nothing to lose and they could go after (the spinners). He bowled well in a couple of games.”

He also added that batting first was a conscious option as against Pakistan, the team had to chase plus this decision gave an opportunity for the batters to play through the 20 overs.

As for the semifinal against England, he said: “I can’t sit here and predict what is going to happen there.

We will have a look at that wicket and think what it might do.”

Prior to Dravid’s press conference, Zimbabwe skipper Craig Ervine said that his bowlers did well in the first 15 overs before Suryakumar flourished: “He was exceptional. He is such a 360-degree player and difficult to bowl to,” he said.

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