Mumbai: Charismatic Indian batter Suryakumar Yadav's string of fine performances in the last few series have seen him became the highest run-scorer for India in a calendar year in T20Is, which bodes well for Rohit Sharma's men as they aim to reclaim the T20 World Cup title after 15 years.
During the opening T20I against South Africa in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday, Surya smashed another unbeaten half-century (50 off 33 balls) as India defeated the visitors by eight wickets in a low-scoring game.
Chasing 107 for victory, opener K L Rahul's 51 not out followed by Surya's unbeaten 50 made the task of achieving the win a cakewalk and take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
Surya continued his incredible run in T20Is this year, completing more than 700 runs in the format in the year. His tally of runs in T20Is in 2022 is a record for an Indian batter with Surya going past Shikhar Dhawan's 689 runs in 2018 in the format.
What makes his record even more glorious is the fact that the batter has scored these runs at a strike rate of over 180 and an average more than 40.
Coming in at No. 4 on Wednesday, with India reeling at 17/2 in the seventh over, Surya slammed two maximums off the first three balls he faced to ease the pressure and give the Indian innings momentum after a sluggish start.
He remained unbeaten on 50 off 33 balls as India scaled the target with more than three overs to spare.
With the two sixes early in the innings, Surya also went past Pakistan's Mohammad Rizwan to record the most sixes in any calendar year in T20Is. Rizwan held the record for his 42 sixes in 2021 with Martin Guptill also smashing 41 sixes in 2021.
Surya has taken his tally of sixes to 45 in 2022 already, a record in all T20Is, with three more months to widen the gap with Rizwan. While Rizwan took 26 innings to make 42 sixes, Surya has broken the record batting five times fewer.
Surya is up to second position in the latest ICC Men's T20I Player Rankings with 801 rating points after his half-century in the third and final T20I against Australia in Hyderabad.
Most T20I runs by an Indian in a calendar year
1. Suryakumar Yadav 732 runs, 40.66 average, 180.29 strike rate, 2022.
2. Shikhar Dhawan 689, 40.52, 147.22, 2018.
3. Virat Kohli 641, 106.83, 140.26, 2016.
4. Rohit Sharma 590, 36.87, 147.5, 2018.
5. Rohit Sharma 497, 29.23, 131.48, 2016.