Men’s T20 World Cup: SuryaKumar taking Miller’s astonishing catch sealed South Africa’s fate     

New Delhi: When David Miller heaved a Hardik Pandya full toss through the line off the toe-end on the first ball of the final over, many felt it would clear long-off for six and get the equation marginally in South Africa’s favour in their quest to win 2024 Men’s T20 World Cup. But Suryakumar Yadav had other ideas — racing like a sprinter to long-off, lobbed the ball over the rope as he went in and came back to regain his balance in a split second to complete an astonishing catch, which left many around the world having their jaws down on the floor.

When India eventually won the trophy and Suryakumar was awarded the ‘Best Fielder’ medal in the dressing room, that catch he took off Miller would join the folklore like Kapil Dev running 20 yards to grab the match-turning catch of Viv Richards in the 1983 ODI World Cup final off Yashpal Sharma’s bowling and of Sreesanth taking the grab at short fine-leg to dismiss Misbah-ul Haq as India sealed 2007 T20 World Cup win.

Suryakumar’s jaw-dropping catch to send back Miller in just five seconds left Biju George, the Delhi Capitals’ fielding coach, in awe of it. “When that Suryakumar catch was unfolding, I thought of Jemimah Rodrigues a lot, as she also does this sort of stuff a lot. I worked with Surya in 2015 and 2016 when I was with the Kolkata Knight Riders franchise.”

“Plus, if you look at it, we have one of the better fielding sides in world cricket, thanks to the level of fitness which has gone up so much. Pulling off that catch in a pressure situation, Surya will always do that. If you want a guy to take that catch, and more importantly, if I want somebody to catch for my life, it will be Surya,” said George to IANS.

In the World Cup, Suryakumar, along with Virat Kohli, Axar Patel, and Ravindra Jadeja were seen manning the areas near the boundary ropes, which meant they would get the ball maximum times in the deep. George also credited captain Rohit Sharma and fielding coach T Dilip for ensuring the correct placement of players in various fielding positions.

“The main thing which people need to see is, in every team, we will have fielders. You will also have comrades of people who are very good fielders. At the same time, there will be some average fielders too and we too carry them. For example, Kuldeep, Arshdeep, or Bumrah won’t be like rocket fielders,” he said.

“But as a captain one has to make sure that the ball goes to the best fielder, like Axar or Surya. The catch of Miller that went to Surya, had it been a Bumrah or a Kuldeep there, you would never know what would happen. So, a lot of credit should go to Rohit for his captaincy as far as field placing is concerned,” he added.

“There is a lot of credit that should go to T. Dilip, the fielding coach. He is a hard worker and I have known him for over a long period of time. He gets things done and his players trust him. So, he is getting the best results out of them for the team,” he said.

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