India star Suryakumar Yadav is in red hot form of late. On Sunday, the world’s No.1 T20I batter smashed his second century in the shortest format of the game as he blazed through to an unbeaten 111 off 51 deliveries in the second T20I against New Zealand in Mount Maunganui. Moments after Suryakumar Yadav’s whirlwind innings, Virat Kohli took to Twitter to declare him the best player in the world.

Describing Suryakumar Yadav’s knock as one from a “video game”, Virat Kohli wrote, “Numero Uno showing why he’s the best in the world. Didn’t watch it live but I’m sure this was another video game innings by him.”

During his sensational knock, Suryakumar Yadav showed his full 360-degree range and earned praise from all quarters, including the legendary Virender Sehwag. However, it was Virat Kohli’s tweet that took the internet by storm.

After Virat Kohli showered his love on Suryakumar Yadav, he responded to his social media post during the post-match media briefing.

In his conversation with reporters, Suryakumar Yadav spoke about his admiration for Virat Kohli and how the two have developed a special bond, particularly in the last six months or so.

“Abhi recently humne kuch games khele hain saath mein, bahut achi partnership ki hain. Toh bahut maja aata hain mujhe unke saath batting karne k liye. Ek cheez hain bhagna bahut padhta hain, kyunki itne super fit hain woh. (Recently we played together and stitched partnerships as well. I really enjoy batting with him, but we need to run a lot because he is super fit.),” Suryakumar Yadav said.

“But at the same time humlog jab andar hote hain, toh humlog game k barein mein jyada discuss nahi karte hain. Ek dusre ko respect karte hain, pata hain sabko apne game k bare mein, kaun kaisa khel raha hain. Toh woh kuch jyada bolte nahi hain, main bhi jyada kuch bolta nahi huun. Bus main ek hi cheez bolta huun unko ‘ki aap ek side se khelte rahiye, toh phir main ek side apna batting karta rahunga’ (But at the same time when we bat together we hardly discuss our game. We respect each other and know how he play. However, I do tell him one thing that you stand firm at one end and I’ll continue to play my shots from the other.),” he added.

“Usko toh main ek compliment k tarah lunga aur try karunga ki aur acha kaise kar sakun (I’ll take it as a compliment and look forward on how to improve further.),” Suryakumar Yadav said about Virat Kohli’s words of praise for him.

Suryakumar Yadav’s knock was laced with eleven 4s and seven 6s as he showcased his full repertoire of 360-degree shots in front of a sell-out crowd in Mount Maunganui. It was a masterful exhibition of explosive T20 batting by Suryakumar Yadav as he broke a series of records in the process.

This year, it was his second hundred after a similar effort against England in Nottingham in July. With his ton in New Zealand, Suryakumar Yadav became the second man after Rohit Sharma to score two centuries in the sport’s shortest format in a calendar year. Rohit Sharma achieved the same feat in 2018.

Suryakumar Yadav’s 111* is now the highest score by an India batter in New Zealand, breaking the previous record held by Rohit Sharma who hit 65 in a match in 2020.

Coming back to the match, after New Zealand put India into bat, Hardik Pandya and his boys got off to a conservative start with Rishabh losing his wicket in the sixth over after making just 6 runs off 13 balls.

However, Suryakumar Yadav changed the complexion of the game as he got into his stride as soon as he walked onto the pitch at No.3. His whirlwind knock took India to a mammoth total of 191/6. In reply, the Kiwis were bowled out on 126 with skipper Kane Williamson being the lone warrior for his team, smashing a 61 off 52 deliveries.

After the match, an extremely happy Suryakumar Yadav said that his hundred was special.

“In T20 cricket, a hundred is always special. But it was also important for me to bat till the end, that’s what Hardik [Pandya, his partner in an 82-run stand for the fourth wicket] was telling me from the other end. Just try and play till the 18th-19th over, we need a score of 180-185, and really happy with the score on the board,” Suryakumar Yadav said in a conversation with the host broadcasters of the series after India’s innings.

“I’m enjoying batting this way, I’ve been doing the same thing in the nets, all practice sessions and going out [to the middle], all these things happening, I’m very happy with that,” he added.

“The plan was clear when we came to bat. The plan was for me to bat till the end to reach par score of 170. Secret I feel for such kind of format you have to have good intent irrespective of situation. Great feeling coming here and having a full game irrespective of the conditions,” Suryakumar Yadav said after India’s win.