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From Century to Stretcher: Suryakumar Yadav’s Anxious Twist In Johannesburg
By CricShots - Dec 14, 2023 11:45 pm
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The New Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg witnessed a tale of two halves for Suryakumar Yadav. He first dazzled the crowd with a dazzling century, etching his name in T20I history. But just as quickly, joy turned to concern as a painful twist of his ankle left his participation in the match, and potentially even the upcoming World Cup, hanging in the balance.

Suryakumar Yadav
Suryakumar Yadav suffered an injury

It was during the third over of South Africa’s chase, with the Proteas already threatening to break the shackles, that disaster struck. As Suryakumar, fielding at long-on, turned to throw the ball back to the bowler, his foot gave way. A grimace of pain contorted his face as he crumpled to the ground, his ankle twisted at an unnatural angle.

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Physios rushed to his aid, and the sight was not encouraging. Suryakumar, usually a picture of athleticism, could barely put weight on his foot. The anguish in his eyes mirrored the worry in the hearts of millions of Indian fans. He was eventually carried off the field, leaving a trail of ice packs and unanswered questions in his wake.

 

Suryakumar’s departure was a double blow for India. Not only had they lost their inspirational captain, but they also lost their talismanic batter. His century, a whirlwind of 100 runs off just 56 balls, had been a masterclass in power and precision, studded with seven fours and eight sixes. He had joined the elite club of Rohit Sharma and Glenn Maxwell as the only Indian players with four T20I centuries, and surpassed Virat Kohli to become India’s second-highest six-hitter in the format.

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But the joy of this achievement was overshadowed by the specter of injury. The severity of the twist was still unclear, but the initial prognosis wasn’t optimistic. With the T20 World Cup looming large on the horizon, India’s hopes for a successful campaign suddenly hung by a thread.

Ravindra Jadeja took over the captaincy in Suryakumar’s absence, but the shoes were undoubtedly too big to fill. The Proteas, sensing vulnerability, pressed their advantage, chipping away at the total India had built. The momentum, once firmly in India’s grasp, seemed to shift irrevocably.