The Indian cricket team returned to winning ways in the 3rd T20I against West Indies, after losing the first two matches. Suryakumar Yadav and Tilak Varma‘s blitzkrieg with the bat impressed everyone but it was Kuldeep Yadav‘s 3-wicket-haul that left a bigger impression on former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar. In fact, Manjrekar feels it was Kuldeep who was the ‘real match-winner’ for the Indian. For the record, the player of the match award went to Suryakumar for his explosive 44-ball 83 on Tuesday.
After a number of misses, Suryakumar finally produced a hit, guiding Team India to a crucial 7-wicket win. But, for Manjrekar, the foundation was laid by Kuldeep whose 3 wickets in the match prevented West Indies from crossing the 160-run mark.
“Surya was brilliant again but Kuldeep the real match-winner for me. Restricting WI to 159 by taking 3 top-order wickets including that of Pooran. Well done Kuldeep,” Manjrekar wrote on Twitter, lauding the left-arm spinner.
Surya was brilliant again but Kuldeep the real match winner for me. Restricting WI to 159 by taking 3 top order wickets including that of Pooran. Well done Kuldeep!
— Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) August 9, 2023
At the post-match presentation ceremony, Suryakumar said that it was important for him to be himself.
“It was really important to be myself when I went in to bat in the powerplay, that’s what the team management also wanted. I have practised these (ramps and scoops) strokes a lot and I love doing that. We (himself and Tilak) have batted together for a long time, we both understand how each other bats and the way he batted, it gave me a lot of confidence. It was a great innings from him (Tilak) at the other end. It was running on the back of my mind (that India had never lost three T20Is in a row) but at the same time we spoke in the team meeting, our captain said someone needs to put their hand up and win the match, glad I was able to do that,” he said after the game.
India would need more such performances from Suryakumar and Kuldeep as the tourists look to win the remaining 2 matches of the T20I series.
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