SKY sets huge new record for India as his game-changing 2022 continues
Yadav struck 61 off just 25 balls to put the Zimbabwe bowlers to the sword late on, lifting India from a chaseable target to 186/5 – something that proved out of their opponents' reach.
And in scoring his half-century, SKY went past 1000 runs in T20 Internationals in 2022.
The 32-year-old is the first Indian to achieve the feat and only the second player ever to do so, following in the footsteps of Mohammad Rizwan in 2021, with the Pakistan opener finishing with 1326 runs last year.
SKY's achievement is even more extraordinary considering he has made his record run return batting most frequently at number four, limiting the number of deliveries faced substantially. Rizwan’s enormous haul last year came from 983 balls, whereas Yadav’s total has been hit off just 550.
That is the biggest contrast with many of the other top run-scorers in the all-time T20I list – Yadav has accumulated his sizeable number of runs at an extremely fast pace.
In 2022 so far, Yadav has hit 1026 runs at an average of 44.60 and a strike rate of 186.54.
Averaging more than 40 in T20Is is world-class in itself. Hitting at a strike rate in excess of 180 is also world-class.
To combine the two is breaking new ground; SKY's batting feats are changing the game in front of our very eyes.
The finish to his innings against Zimbabwe just hammered home that point, as Yadav somehow flicked a full ball from well outside his off stump over his shoulder and away for six at fine leg, prompting the commentator to exclaim: “You can’t do that! Wow!
“There was a sluggishness to the innings and it took him to break it, it took him to get the innings going, and he’s kept going. It’s a gem of an innings, as many of his fans have become accustomed to whenever it is that he takes to the crease.”
So what is the secret?
Part of Yadav’s success has come thanks to his late arrival on the international stage, with years of IPL experience allowing him to hone his game away from the even brighter spotlight that the national team brings.
But what separates SKY from the rest is his combination of classical batting ability and a genuine 360-range of shots in his armoury. Those two talents, along with his incredible understanding of how to manage an innings, make him something truly special.
And his success isn’t down to luck. In a recent interview with ESPN, Yadav revealed that every visit to the crease is accompanied by a clear and attacking plan.
“You have to plan when you go in to bat. You have to plan your shots, what shots you will play against the spinners, the fast bowlers.
“There are areas - one side is short, one side is long, which areas you should target.
“So there are three, four things which you plan, you read, and then you go in the game and then you execute.”
It’s fair to say at this point that Yadav’s plans and executions are well and truly on point.
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