‘Virat’s sledging was on another level in that match’: Suryakumar Yadav narrates story of his face-off with Kohli in IPL


ByHT Sports Desk, New Delhi

India batter Suryakumar Yadav has revealed the whole story behind his long stare with Virat Kohli during a match between Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL 2020, saying that the former RCB captain was going all out in sledging the opposition that night. It was the 48th match of the 13th season of the IPL, played in Abu Dhabi and batting first, RCB had posted 164/6. MI, in response lost two early wickets but Suryakumar’s half-century revived MI and put the chase on course.

There was a period in play when Suryakumar hit the ball to Kohli, who picked it up, walked up to the MI batter and gave him a long stare. However, Kohli’s ploy of getting under Suryakumar’s skin did not work as the MI batter played a scintillating knock of 79 off 43 balls and took MI over the line to win the match by five wickets. Surya is spoken about this incident in the past as well but none was as detailed as the one he has shared now.

“That’s his style. His energy level on the ground is always different. And that game was extremely important for both teams so Virat’s sledging was on another level in that match. I was focus on myself, like ‘boss, you cannot lose focus and have to win the match at any cost’. The ball went to him and he made that action from there and it was very instinctive,” Suryakumar told actor, television and cricket presenter Gaurav Kapur on his famous YouTube Show ‘Breakfast with Champions’.

During the incident, while Suryakumar did well to keep his composure and not respond to Kohli, the batter recalls that he was in a way intimidated by the sight of Kohli walking at him and sharing a long eye contact. Suryakumar added that given the importance of the match, it was important for him not to lose track of the situation and keep calm.

“I remember I was chewing gum and inside my heartbeat is racing knowing that he is walking at me. He isn’t saying anything, I wasn’t saying anything. I was saying to myself ‘no matter what happens, do not say a word. It’s a matter of 10 seconds. After this a new over will begin. This won’t last long’. So the situation passed. I then saw him right after the match,” mentioned Suryakumar.

Suryakumar went on to have a fine season for MI, scoring 480 runs with the help of four centuries as MI lifted the title that year for a record fifth time.

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