Australian batting great Matthew Hayden believes T20 cricket is not always about power and subcontinental players such as Suryakumar Yadav demonstrated that they can pose a threat with “access shots” and “innovation”. The power-hitters from teams such as Australia, England and West Indies have dominated the shortest format but Hayden gave the example of the rampaging Suryakumar to drive his point that it is more about finding a tricky balance.
“The power game in T20 cricket is still being explored because there is a mixture,” the former Australian opener and current Pakistan team mentor said ahead of Wednesday’s T20 World Cup semifinal against New Zealand.
“I think the subcontinental players, when you look at the tournament so far, guys like Suryakumar Yadav who are playing beautifully through that middle to late stage, with a competency of all areas of the ground, with access shots, innovation, they become threats.” Suryakumar has gone past 1000 runs in T20 Internationals in 2022.
On Sunday, the 32-year-old mesmerized an 82,000-strong MCG crowd with his strokes, some of them outrageous. His unbeaten 61-run knock off just 25 balls set up India’s big win over Zimbabwe.
“So it’s not always about the power. And as I said, I think as cricketers, we’re all trying to come to grips with when is the power, when does that foot go down on the floor, when does it decelerate and look to preserve.
“And a lot of the matches have been very close matches. And the tricky balance between preservation of wickets versus exploration of innovation have been really why I think a lot of the sides that are here now in this tournament are still here.
“Australia is a great case of that. Power to burn but hasn’t been able to handle the new ball. And it’s let itself be vulnerable through the middle of the order.” Defending champions Australia failed to reach the knockout stage after finishing third in their super 12 Group 1 with seven points as England sealed the semifinals owing to a better net run-rate.
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