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India's Surya Kumar Yadav plays a shot during the 3rd T20 match in the Sri Lanka tour of India 2023, at Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium, in Rajkot. Image Credit: ANI

New Delhi: The impact of Suryakumar Yadav’s incendiary shotmaking makes batting easier for his India teammates, captain Hardik Pandya said after the team’s T20 series victory against Sri Lanka in Rajkot.

Yadav, the top-ranked T20 batsman, smashed a 45-ball hundred in Saturday’s decider against Sri Lanka and his unbeaten 112 powered India to an insurmountable 228-5.

Yadav became the only player to score three T20 hundreds batting at No. 3 or lower, helping India stretch their unbeaten home streak to 12 series.

“It makes my life very easy,” Pandya said after India secured a 2-1 series victory. “The way he changes the game, the way he plays some shots, it actually breaks the morale of the bowler, which helps other batsmen as well.” Yadav’s fearless shotmaking was in full display as he clobbered nine sixes, along with seven fours, in flattening Sri Lanka.

 Clear plan

Pandya put it down to the 32-year-old’s uncluttered approach to batting.

“The kind of form he’s in and the kind of clarity he has, you don’t really need to go and speak to him,” Pandya said. “He’s always been very clear about his plan, and that’s the reason he’s successful in this format. He does not doubt his ability.” Former Sri Lanka spearhead Lasith Malinga was among those who doffed their hat at Yadav, fondly called ‘SKY’.

“This is pure entertainment. A T20 batting masterclass from SKY. Loved watching every minute of it even though it was against SL. World’s best by far!” tweeted Malinga, who played with Yadav for Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League.