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T20 World Cup: Have plans against Afghanistan; focused on our strong points too, says Suryakumar Yadav

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Shillong, June 19: Top-ranked men’s T20I batter Suryakumar Yadav said India have had their plans against Afghanistan ahead of a much-awaited meeting in the Super Eight of Men’s T20 World Cup on Thursday. But at the same time, he stressed that India are focused on working over its strong points too.

 

After topping Group A stage, India are set to begin its Super Eights campaign against giantkillers Afghanistan at the Kensington Oval on Thursday.

 

Afghanistan are in the knockouts stage of a T20 World Cup for the first time after upsetting New Zealand and securing wins over Uganda and Papua New Guinea in their stunning Group C run.

 

“We do obviously have plans against Afghanistan. But we are completely focused on our strong points really well. We’re working on that. I mean, we do think about the opposition, but at the same time, at the end of the day, you should know what your strong points are and back it,” said Suryakumar to reporters after India’s optional practice session.

 

The right-handed batter also noted that practice pitches in Barbados have been better than the ones served at Cantiague Park when India played its three Group A games in New York. “I was happy playing there as well. It’s not that we weren’t happy playing there. But we were playing for the first time. The conditions were different and a little challenging as well. But we have played here (before). We know the conditions here, how they react, how they act.”

 

“So we are very happy to be here. Last time also, when we were here for ODIs, it was a similar kind of wicket. I don’t think there has been a lot of cricket played here in the last 10 days. The practice wickets were good and are much better than it was in USA, where it was a little bit spicy.

 

“So we’re expecting that the wicket during the game day will also be as good as practice wickets here. These are a bit more consistent to shot making might be easier, but they are slow so it will be interesting to see how we adapt,” he said.

 

Suryakumar took time to hit the ground running in the tournament till he hit a 49-ball unbeaten fifty in a nervy win over USA. He talked about how he adapted himself to the demand of taking charge for the Indian team in the nervy run-chase on a tough New York pitch.

 

“If you have been number one for two years, you should be able to bat in different conditions and change your game as per the team’s needs. That displays good batsmanship, and that is what I try. I knew I had to play that role for the team on that day, as finding boundaries will be difficult post powerplay, especially with wind and slow outfield.

 

“We had a plan to hit in the gaps and run hard to get the runs. I spoke to Shivam (Dube) too, and we knew that we were one or two hits away from winning the game that day. That’s my role, it’s a role that I spent a lot of my time in domestic cricket thinking about. I knew that I had to do well in that period between seven and 16 overs to make a case to get into the side.

 

“I showcased that repeatedly in domestic cricket, including the IPL, to get picked for the national team. So, I came into the side knowing that that’s what my role would be. See, on some days it comes off and on others, it doesn’t. But my mindset is to keep at it every time I go out there and not worry too much about what might happen, you can’t keep thinking about failure,” he concluded. (IANS)

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