Suryakumar Yadav has made a dazzling entry into international cricket after months of speculations over why he wasn’t being picked for India squads despite churning out consistent performances both at the domestic level and in the IPL. So when he walked out to bat at No. 3, his maiden innings for India, a dream came true and he marked the occasion with a stunning six off the very first delivery he face and that to from a world-class England pacer Jofra Archer.

A little context to why that six made the waves. India have been terrible in the Powerplay overs in two of the three matches they have batted first of the ongoing series. In the series opener, they scored 22/3 and in the third they managed 24/3. In the fourth T20I as well, they had lost Rohit Sharma early and were 21/1 in 3.4 overs when Surya walked in.

The brazenness of the shot was a perfect example of the confidence Surya has in his shot making, something those who have watched him play for Mumbai, and in IPL must have been familiar with. But it wasn’t a spur of the moment decision from the Indian that he took on the bowling of Archer right away. There was a plan to it.

“My plan was very clear when I went into bat,” Suryakumar said after the match. “I’ve seen him (Archer) in the last two, three seasons in the IPL also. I’ve watched all of his games in international cricket as well. So whenever a new batsman comes in, what plans he has… Obviously I had my plans as well when I went in to bat. It was a great opportunity for me to bat at No. 3 for India. I knew that he’d come a little short at me so I really wanted to execute that and I was really happy with the way things went.”

Surya scored 57 off 31 with six fours and three sixes. It was his innings that played a vital role in pushing India to what turned out to be a winning total with the hosts bucking the trend of teams losing after batting first in the ongoing series.

Even captain Virat Kohli, with whom Surya had that infamous stare-off during IPL 2020, was full of praise for the newcomer. “It’s not easy to walk in at three in your first game and we all were stunned. He stamped his authority and allowed the likes of Shreyas, Hardik and Pant to do their job. I am a fan of these youngsters,” said Kohli .

“He (Surya) batted outstandingly well in his first game. Similar to Ishan (Kishan). They are quite fearless having played in the IPL. We don’t have any T20Is after this so I want the guys to be confident and come out of the IPL very strongly,” he added.

This is the T20 World Cup year and every performance matters as Kohli zeroes in on a core probable for the marquee event set to be played in India in October-November. Ishan Kishan dazzled in the second T20I and now Surya has also made a strong case.