For the second year running, Suryakumar Yadav, the flamboyant Indian batsman, has cemented his dominance in the shortest format by clinching the coveted ICC Men’s T20I Cricketer of the Year award. His 2023 was a masterclass in batting prowess, marked by a staggering tally of 733 runs in just 17 innings, punctuated by an awe-inspiring average of 48.86 and a strike rate that left bowlers breathless – a blistering 155.95.
Suryakumar’s repertoire in 2023 was a dazzling display of aggression and finesse. He plundered four scintillating half-centuries and a pair of jaw-dropping centuries, leaving opposing defenses in tatters. Stepping up to the captaincy mantle due to Hardik Pandya’s injury, he embraced the leadership role with remarkable ease.
Witness his blistering half-centuries against Australia (80 off 42 balls) and South Africa (56 off 36 balls), and then the pièce de résistance – a thunderous century against the Proteas in just 56 deliveries at the year’s final T20I in Johannesburg.
But Suryakumar’s insatiable hunger for runs didn’t stop there. He etched his name in Indian cricket’s record books by smashing the country’s second-fastest T20I century, reaching the coveted three-figure mark against Sri Lanka in a mere 45 deliveries. This feat stood second only to Rohit Sharma’s 35-ball whirlwind against the same team in 2017.
Presenting the ICC Men’s T20I Cricketer of the Year 2023 😎🙌
— BCCI (@BCCI) January 24, 2024
2023 also saw him level with Rohit Sharma and Glenn Maxwell by registering his fourth T20I century, placing him at the top of the pile for most tons in the format. However, his reign as the “Century King” was short-lived, as Rohit soon reclaimed the title with a magnificent ton in the final T20I against Afghanistan.
Suryakumar’s impact transcends mere numbers. He has amassed a staggering 2,141 runs in just 60 T20I matches, maintaining a phenomenal average of 45.55 and a strike rate that sends shivers down bowlers’ spines – a staggering 171.55. His meteoric rise was further exemplified by his appointment as the captain of the ICC T20I Team of the Year, announced just a day before the individual award.
Suryakumar Yadav’s story in 2023 is not just about statistics; it’s a testament to his relentless pursuit of excellence, his unyielding determination, and his ability to redefine the boundaries of T20 batting. He is a maestro of the willow, a captivating entertainer, and a leader who inspires. As he continues to rewrite the script of T20 cricket, one can only imagine what breathtaking chapters await us in the years to come.
ICC T20I Team of the Year for 2023
Suryakumar Yadav (C), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Phil Salt, Nicholas Pooran, Mark Chapman, Sikandar Raza, Alpesh Ramjani, Mark Adair, Ravi Bishnoi, Richard Ngarava, Arshdeep Singh.