India's Suryakumar Yadav started his journey in style as he smashed the first ball of his international career for a six, in the fourth T20I of the five-match series against England at the Narendra Modi Stadium. Suryakumar's 31-ball 57 was vital in India posting their highest total of the ongoing T20I series.
Suryakumar, who was adjudged Man of the Match for his batting masterclass, said that experience of playing against Jofra Archer in the IPL helped him judge the pacer's gameplan.
"First of all, I am feeling very good that we won the match. It was my dream to play for India and make the team win matches. I did not complicate things much and just tried to express myself.
"I knew if I managed to play the first two-three bowls as I do, then things will get easy," Suryakumar told Shardul Thakur in a video shared by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on its website.
"I have seen him (Archer) in IPL and international cricket that when a new batsman comes in, he tries to keep the batsman on the backfoot. I have now played against him in the IPL so, now I have an idea how he might bowl in the powerplay or at death.
"So, I was prepared beforehand and I have been playing this shot in local cricket, domestic cricket and even when I started playing cricket with rubber or tennis ball. So, this shot developed from there and now came to international cricket," he added.
England, who were set a target of 186, looked well set to chase the target and at 140/4 in 16 overs needed 46 off 24 deliveries. However, two wickets in two deliveries by Shardul Thakur turned the tide in India's favour. Needing 23 in the last over, England managed to gather just 14 as India scripted a series-levelling win.
Reflecting on his game-changing over, Shardul said, "When the spinners' spell came to an end, pacers came in and Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowled an over which was very good, and then I got a chance. When we got those two wickets, we felt that we can seal the game and we did. Two wickets from two balls was very good for the team.
Shardul, who also bowled the final over, said that stand-in skipper Rohit Sharma wanted him to back his plans and try to execute them.
"Rohit Sharma was the stand-in captain and whenever he came to me, he only said one thing 'Shardul, back your plans and if you do quality bowling it will be difficult for them. They may play two big shots but they will miss one or two balls and will panic.'
"So, my plan was to bowl two to three dot balls. So, he was saying, whatever you have planned, try to execute that and do not judge yourself by the shots played by the batsman," said Shardul