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Gujarat Titans assistant coach Kapoor in awe of Suryakumar Yadav's six hitting abilities

MUMBAI: Suryakumar Yadav's maiden IPL century on Friday floored defending champions Gujarat Titans, whose assistant coach and former India spinner Ashish Kapoor acknowledged that batters like him put bowlers under a lot of pressure.

The world no. 1 T20 batter, Suryakumar smacked 11 fours and six sixes to power Mumbai Indians to a daunting 218 for five.

GT were tottering at 103 for eight before Rashid Khan's (79 not out off 32) onslaught dragged them to 191/8.

MI got back to the third position in the points table with a 27-run win, courtesy Suryakumar's knock.

However, Kapoor felt Suryakumar was 'smart' to handle GT bowlers, especially Noor Ahmad.

"(It was) an absolutely brilliant knock. He played smartly, we were expecting Noor might get him out, because the way he played him got out to him in the previous game. Even today he (Surya) did not take chances against him," Kapoor said.

"As long as Noor bowled he kept picking singles and twos and actually Vishnu Vinod took pressure off him when he got runs in the middle quicker than him.

"But once he was set, you all know what Surya can do. When a guy is in that kind of form, it is very difficult for the bowlers. These kinds of batsmen put the bowlers under a lot of pressure, you don't know how many sixes they are going to hit every over, forget the innings," Kapoor said.

MI bowler Akash Madhwal, who chipped in with three wickets, also praised senior pro Suryakumar for his outstanding knock.

"It is very difficult to bowl to Surya bhai. I have bowled to a lot of batters but he plays extraordinarily well," Madhwal said when asked about his experience of bowling to Suryakumar in the nets.

"Whatever he trains for in the nets, he is able to execute in the game. It is very difficult to bowl at him. I have also played a practice match against him, watching him bat is special. I have not seen a player like him," he said.

Kapoor, meanwhile, also praised Rashid, who took four wickets for 30 runs and struck 10 sixes and three fours to make an unbeaten 79.

"He is a top-class player, there is no doubt about it. People look at him as a leg-spinner but he has proven that he is a top all-rounder at least in this format. Till right now, he did not have to bat. Last year, he got a lot of batting and won a lot of matches for us. This year, this is the first time he got a decent innings (in terms of) where he got a lot of balls to bat," Kapoor said.

"He almost pulled (it) off for us. Things happen, maybe with one or two good overs upfront, maybe we would have got closer," he added.

Talking about Rashid's bowling plans, Kapoor explained that reading the pitch before any match is crucial for the Afghan player.

"He is a different spinner altogether, (like) how we had (Anil) Kumble. Rashid depends mostly on his speed and length, which is quite different. "With his speed, he is able to skid the ball onto the bat but he knows on which wickets to bowl a little bit slower so that he can extract some turn. His main weapon is the googly, he keeps seeing the wickets before the match and understands what lengths to bowl," Kapoor said.


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