It was a good indication for Pakistan as it prepares for the World Cup, which begins on October 23 in Australia. Pakistan opener Rizwan made a remarkable milestone in 2021, which will be surpassed in the future. Suryakumar, however, jeopardized Rizwan’s record a year later by scoring 1,026 runs in 28 innings with an average of 44.60 and a strike rate of 186.54. He has also demonstrated his versatility by scoring 117 and making 9 fifties, proving his ability to score consistently in various scenarios. He was regarded as a complete batsman, capable of playing aggressively and scoring consistently against India.
The No. 1 batter in the ICC’s T20I batting rankings presently has 1,026 runs in 2022, the second most of any player in a calendar year. Rizwan, who scored 1,326 last year, is still some ways behind Suryakumar, and the feat appears unlikely to be repeated, although it cannot be completely ruled out.
The India right-hander is set to play at least four T20Is this year after being named to the squad to face New Zealand later this month, as well as the T20 World Cup semi-final, and a maximum of five games if the side advances to the final. To catch Rizwan, he has to score 75.25 runs per innings in four games, and a little more attainable but still difficult 60.2 runs per game in five games.
Given Suryakumar’s current average of 44.60, all situations would necessitate him significantly improving his present level. So far in the T20 World Cup, he is averaging 75.
Rizwan had the luxury of facing the whole quota of overs more frequently than not because he came out to open the innings. In 2021, he took 983 balls and had a strike rate of 134.89 while scoring 1,326 runs and hitting 125. Suryakumar, on the other hand, has faced only 550 balls this year to score over 1,000 runs, making his achievement even more impressive.
In 2022, the 32-year-old averages 186.54 runs per 100 balls in the format, and if he can maintain his batting rate, he will need to face 161.36 more balls in the remaining matches to reach 301 runs. If he plays four T20Is, he must face 40.34 deliveries per innings, and if India has five innings, he may achieve the feat by facing 32.3 balls per game. The latter appears more plausible; he has faced 40 or more balls in an inning only three times in 2022, but at least 30 deliveries six times.
Even if Suryakumar is unable to surpass Rizwan, 2022 will be remembered as the year in which the Mumbai Indians player truly arrived. In a calendar year, he has the highest strike rate among players who have faced at least 250 balls. Suryakumar’s strike rate of 186.54 stands out even more among hitters who have faced at least 550 balls in men’s T20Is in a year, with no other player managing a strike rate above 135 (Rizwan last year).
Except for him, all of the other openers in the top five for most T20I runs in a calendar year are openers, and only Rizwan has more than fifty-plus scores (13). It is an impressive feat for a middle-order player to do what Suryakumar achieved this year, and it already ensures his name will go down in history books.