Indian cricketer Robin Uthappa feels that Suryakumar Yadav can bat at the No. 4 or No. 5 position and support Rishabh Pant in finishing the innings. According to Uthappa, Suryakumar’s versatility is his biggest asset as he can bat anywhere.
Suryakumar batted at No. 3 in the first T20Is of the three-match series against New Zealand in Jaipur on Wednesday. The 31-year-old was the Player of the Match for his 40-ball 62 as India went 1-0 with a five-wicket triumph.
Despite Suryakumar’s success at the one-down position, Uthappa believes he will be more useful to India at four or five once Virat Kohli is back in the T20I side. The Chennai Super Kings (CSK) batter explained during an interaction with ESPNCricinfo:
“The guy brings in a sense of versatility. He can move up and down the batting order. Surya gets in there and gets going. The array of shots that he has got makes him a dangerous batter at any position. He can bat at 4-5 so that Pant has got some support to finish games.”
At a post-match interaction following India’s win over New Zealand in the first T20I, Suryakumar himself stated that he doesn’t have any preferred position and is willing to bat anywhere for the team.
The right-hander’s half-century saw India chase down a target of 165 with two balls to spare. Following Suryakumar’s dismissal, Rishabh Pant (17*) guided the team to victory.
“Suryakumar has set himself aside from the rest of the pack” – Daniel Vettori
Former New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori echoed Uthappa’s sentiments on Suryakumar. According to the Kiwi great, the 31-year-old has made his opportunities count and should feature in the Indian T20I squad on a consistent basis. Vettori opined:
“With the kind of performances he has come up with, Suryakumar has set himself aside from the rest of the pack. He could be the guy to bat 4-5 to complement the Top 3. He is confident from the time he goes out to bat and it just suits T20 cricket.”
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In nine T20Is, Suryakumar has scored 243 runs at a strike rate of 160.92 with three half-centuries.