“In T20 cricket, a hundred is always special,” Suryakumar told the broadcasters after India’s innings. “But it was also important for me to bat till the end, that’s what Hardik [Pandya, his partner in an 82-run stand for the fourth wicket] was telling me from the other end. Just try and play till the 18th-19th over, we need a score of 180-185, and really happy with the score on the board.
“I’m enjoying batting this way, I’ve been doing the same thing in the nets, all practice sessions and going out [to the middle], all these things happening, I’m very happy with that.”
Later, at the post-match press conference, he explained how he gets into his zone. “You have to do all the processes and routines the same way when you’ve done well. So 99% I try to do the same things on match day the same way. For example, if I have to do a gym session or if I have to eat lunch at the perfect time or if I have to take a power nap for about 15-20 minutes. These are all small small things which I try to do on game days and when I come to the ground I feel good. That is my zone.
“Also I spend a lot of time on off days with my wife. Speak to my parents a lot. The one thing that keeps me grounded is they don’t talk about the game and that keeps me in a good space and I am really happy to stay in that zone for a very long time.”
On Sunday, he reflected on his journey. “I always think about the past. Whenever I am in my room or travel with my wife, we talk about how the situation was two or three years ago and how it is now and what has changed. We keep discussing about those times, too. Yes, there was a bit of frustration at that time but we always looked to take positives from those situations, [looked at] how I could become a better cricketer and level up. I tried different things like having good [healthy] food, having quality practice sessions, sleeping on time. I used to do that even before but it was not so in terms of quality. Having gone through all of it, I am enjoying the fruits of that now.”
So he’s cracked T20 cricket. How about Tests? “It’s coming… it’s coming… that time is also coming,” Suryakumar said. “When we start playing, we start with red-ball [cricket]. For apne (our) Mumbai team, I have played decent amount of first class cricket. So I have a good idea of that format and I enjoy it too. Hopefully, I will also get a Test cap soon.”