MUMBAI: Suryakumar Yadav, the charismatic Indian batsman, broke the record for most runs scored by an individual in a calendar year in Twenty20 international matches. This is encouraging for Rohit Sharma's squad as it seeks to defend the T20 World Cup title it won almost 15 years ago.
Suryakumar scored another unbeaten half-century (50 off 33 balls) as India trounced South Africa by eight wickets with 20 balls remaining in the first T20I match against them on Wednesday in Thiruvananthapuram.
KL Rahul scored 51 in the first over of the contest, while Surya followed with an undefeated 50 to help the team win the match and take a 1-0 series lead.
According to the ICC, Suryakumar extended his remarkable run in T20Is this year, scoring more than 700 runs in the format overall. His total of runs in T20Is in 2022 set a new mark for an Indian batsman, surpassing Shikhar Dhawan's 689 runs in the same competition in 2018.
The fact that the batter has scored these runs at a strike rate of more than 180 and an average of more than 40 makes his record even more illustrious.
Surya, who entered the game on Wednesday at No. 4, hit two maximums off the first three balls he faced to relieve pressure and reverse the tempo of the Indian innings after a slow start. India was languishing at 17/2 in the seventh over.
As India reached the mark with more over three over to spare, he was still unbeaten at 50 off 33 balls.
Surya surpassed Pakistan's Mohammad Rizwan for the most sixes in a T20I calendar year with the two sixes he hit early in the innings. Martin Guptill also smashed 41 sixes in 2021, breaking Rizwan's record of 42 sixes.
With three more months to distance himself from Rizwan, Surya has already increased his 2022 total of sixes to 45, a record in all T20 Internationals. Suryakumar has smashed the record while batting five times fewer than Rizwan, who needed 26 innings to hit 42 sixes.
After scoring 50 against Australia in the third and final T20I in Hyderabad, Surya has moved up to second place in the most recent ICC Men's T20I Player Rankings with 801 rating points.