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Suryakumar Yadav's evolution from pure powerplay to situation-based attacking play

Suryakumar Yadav has shown tremendous maturity along with audacious stroke play in T20 World Cup 2024. SKY has scored 196 runs from 7 games at an average of 32.66.

Suryakumar Yadav has scored 196 runs from 7 games for India in T20 World Cup 2024 | Walking Wicket (Source_ ©BCCI_X)
Suryakumar Yadav has scored 196 runs from 7 games in T20 WC 2024 (Source: ©BCCI/X)

We are seeing a new version of Suryakumar Yadav -SKY 2.0- in the T20 World Cup 2024. But before that, let’s know SKY better. SKY is a flamboyant and stylish cricketer. He can unleash outrageous shots that sail easily over the boundary ropes. He conjures magic with the bat as he smashes the ball to all corners of the ground and especially targets the areas behind the wicket to collect cheeky fours and sixes. 


He can turn his wrist to smack balls way outside off stump over square leg for boundaries. In fact, his first cricketing shot in T20Is was a whip over square leg for a six off England’s Jofra Archer.  He is India's 360-degree cricketer as he punches, drives and lofts to score runs on the offside. He also pulls, flicks and slogs on the leg side to score runs at a brisk rate. 


But what is he doing differently in the 2024 World T20? Is he the same flamboyant cricketer in this tournament? Has he changed his style or lessened his aggressive stroke-play to be more consistent? Or, are we seeing a matured version of SKY?


SKY 2.0 Notable changes

SKY 2.0 has the same swag as before. But the cricketer has brought in maturity to his game. He has not altered his shot-making a bit. He is still playing those out-of-the-blue unorthodox cricketing shots that are making fans and critics go crazy. The notable change in SKY's game has been the awareness of his game. 


He is not going after every ball. He is not looking to play his bag of trick shots to please fans. He is not looking to accelerate for the sake of it. Lastly, he is definitely not curbing his natural attacking game. SKY is wisely choosing his shots and the moments to play those shots. He is also wise in the selection of areas and bowlers to target. Most importantly, playing according to the situation and simultaneously adjusting brilliantly to the tough batting conditions in the Caribbean has been notable.


SKY would have been forgiven if he fell early looking to play one of his extraordinary shots in the name of intent and brisk run-making. But SKY 2.0 is taking his time, getting his eye in, rotating the strike, punishing the odd balls for boundaries and still striking at over 130. All of it while choosing the right moment to unleash his outrageous shot-making. 


Suryakumar Yadav has scored 196 runs from 7 games for India in T20 World Cup 2024 _ Walking Wicket (Source_ ©BCCI_X)
SKY found ways to score runs in tough conditions (Source: ©BCCI/X)
Few standout SKY 2.0 moments for 2024 World T20

In the clash against England, Suryakumar Yadav did exactly the same. The match situation required him to build a partnership with captain Rohit Sharma after play resumed following a rain break. The two took a couple of overs to get settled again before bringing out the big shots. When SKY felt he was back to getting used to the pace of the wicket, he brought out his lofted shot over point boundary for a six. 


Earlier, in the clash against USA, India were in a spot of bother at 39/3 and were struggling to score runs. SKY didn’t look to hit out, but rather concentrated on rotating the strike and taking the game deep. Once he had his eye in, he brought out his big shots to take India to victory, scoring a run-a-ball 50. It was this maturity that India needed from SKY where he can play as per the situation without curbing his natural attacking game. 


And when the pitch and conditions are slightly better for batting, SKY is not holding himself back. He does go after the bowling to live up to the team’s aggressive intent. In the game against Australia, he made a crucial 16-ball 31 to carry forward the momentum laid out by Rohit’s 92, ensuring India finish on a high.


SKY 2.0 can be extremely crucial to India’s chances in the World T20 final against South Africa, which boasts of one of the best bowling attacks in the world. The in-form SKY 2.0 can ensure India move to a winning position with his new matured gameplay. Moreover, all-rounders such as Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel and Ravindra Jadeja are already waiting to finish off the match. 


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