IPL 2023: Batters like Suryakumar put bowlers under a lot of pressure, says GT assistant coach Aashish Kapoor

Mumbai: After facing a 27-run defeat to Mumbai Indians, Gujarat Titans assistant coach Aashish Kapoor was left in awe of Suryakumar Yadav’s electrifying 103 not out off 49 balls, pointing out that batters like him put the bowlers under immense pressure.

On Friday, Suryakumar scored his first IPL century, hitting 11 fours and six sixes in a jaw-dropping innings of 103 not out off 49 balls. He got to the triple-figure mark off the final ball of the innings by smashing a six to set the base as Mumbai amassed 218/5.

In reply, Gujarat were in tatters at 103/8, before Rashid Khan’s stunning onslaught of 79 not out off 32 balls, laced with three fours and ten sixes, took them to 191/8, keeping the margin of loss to 27 runs.

“(It was) an absolutely brilliant knock (from Suryakumar). He played smartly, we were expecting Noor (Ahmad) might get him out, because the way he played him – got out to him in the previous game. Even he (Surya) did not take chances against him.”

“As long as Noor bowled he kept picking singles and twos and actually Vishnu Vinod took pressure off him when he got runs in the middle quicker than him. But once he was set, you all know what Surya can do.”

“When a guy is in that kind of form, it is very difficult for the bowlers. These kinds of batsmen put the bowlers under a lot of pressure, you don’t know how many sixes they are going to hit every over, forget the innings,” said Kapoor in the post-match press conference.

Suryakumar’s knock reduced Rashid’s counter-attacking knock and his four-wicket haul to a mere footnote, which got him praise from Kapoor. “We all know that Rashid is a top-class player. There is no doubt about it and people look at him as a spinner, but he has proven that he is a top all-rounder at least in this format. Till right now, he didn’t have to bat. I think he has batted just one ball before this game.”

“Last year, he won a few games for us with his batting. First time this year, he got a decent number of deliveries to face and he almost pulled it off for us. If we had got a few good overs upfront, we would have got closer to the target,” he added.

Asked on what makes Rashid different from other leg-spinners in the current game, Kapoor, a former India spinner, explained, “He is a different spinner altogether. Like we had Anil Kumble. Rashid depends mostly on his speed and his length. That is quite different from other spinners.”

“Because of the speed, he is able to skid the ball onto the bat. But he knows which wickets to bowl slower, so that he can extract some turn. His main weapon is googly as we all know. He studies the wicket before the match and decides what lengths he has to bowl on those wickets,” he concluded.

Gujarat’s next match in IPL 2023 will be against Sunrisers Hyderabad at their home ground, Narendra Modi Stadium, on Monday.

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