Suryakumar Yadav (SKY) has been the toast of the nation of late. While a few legends of the game, including former India captain Krishnamachari Srikkanth and Ravi Shastri have criticized coach Rahul Dravid’s tactics of promoting him to join Rohit Sharma at the top of the order, Suryakumar Yadav has proved them wrong. On Tuesday, Suryakumar led India’s run chase with a stupendous knock of 76 off 44 deliveries to power the visitors to a comfortable seven-wicket win over Nicholas Pooran’s men in the third T20I at Basseterre. With the victory against the West Indies there, India took a crucial 2-1 lead in the five-match series. Though Suryakumar’s batting heroics was among one of the most talked about topics during the match, it was Ishan Kishan’s unexpected request to his India teammate’s wife Devisha Shetty which went viral on the internet.

Notably, Suryakumar Yadav’s wife Devisha did not arrive at the match venue on two occasions to watch her husband bat in the middle. Surprisingly, in both instances, Suryakumar Yadav produced two of his best knocks in India colors. Devisha wasn’t at the ground to witness Suryakumar Yadav’s maiden hundred in T20Is when he slammed a magnificent ton against England at Trent Bridge in July. She didn’t attend the third T20I against the West Indies either when Suryakumar hit a scintillating 76 that featured eight boundaries and four sixes.

In an interview posted by the BCCI on its official Twitter account, Ishan Kishan asked Suryakumar Yadav about Devisha Shetty missing from the stands whenever he plays a big knock.

“Mere paas ek bahot important sawaal aaya hai, aapse he mujhe wo stat aapke baare mein pata chala hai. Jo aapne bhi notice kia hai (I have a very important question with me, you yourself told me about this stat since you have noticed it yourself). I love you bhabhi but I have to ask this question,” Kishan said before adding, “I have come to know that bhabhi had not come to watch the match at Trentbridge where you scored a century. Then she came to watch all the matches. Then again she did not come today and you scored 76 runs, what do you have to say about this and I would want you to give the same answer which you did in the dugout to us.”

In his reply, Suryakumar Yadav said that a partner’s physical presence in the stands wasn’t important as long as there was love between the two: “See, when a man lies, he stammers. I am not lying. I would say what I said in the dugout, which is that it is not important for a partner to be on the ground. What matters is that they are with you. She is in this country and I have a tattoo of her name as well. So she is close to my heart and being or ground or not does not matter. Eventually she is here and that power channels into the ground.”

After Suryakumar Yadav was done with his response, the wicketkeeper-batter urged his wife to remain absent from the next two matches of the series so that SKY continues to perform the way he has been doing in recent times.

“Devisha Bhabhi, please keep paying our room bills and in the coming matches, make sure your attendance is late,” Kishan said.

Kishan’s remarks about Devisha quickly went viral on social media with numerous Twitter users reacting to his interview with Suryakumar Yadav.

Suryakumar Yadav and Devisha Shetty met in college in 2012 and tied the knot in 2016.

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Meanwhile, the ease with which Suryakumar Yadav batted against the West Indies bowlers earned him rich plaudits from captain Rohit Sharma.

“Once you get a start in this format, it’s always important to convert that because it does well for the team. Of course the thirties and forties for any player look good, but, I think when you get past 70-80 and then go on to get a hundred as well… then you’re scoring those runs for the team. I thought Surya batted brilliantly, [he had] a good partnership there with [Shreyas] Iyer and it was quite clinical,” Rohit Sharma said, lauding SKY’s performance.

On the other hand, Suryakumar Yadav was delighted with his display against Nicholas Pooran and his boys on Tuesday.

“Really happy with the way things went,” Suryakumar Yadav stated after he was named the Player-of-the-Match. “I felt when Rohit went inside [retired hurt] it was important for someone to bat till about 15-17 overs. I just went out to be myself and expressed it.

“Obviously, we saw yesterday what happened in the second innings [alluding to the pitch slowing down]. So, it was really important, as I said, for someone to bat deep and go on and win the game for the team. So, that was what I was focusing on,” he summed up.