Suryakumar Yadav has gotten high praise from Ricky Ponting, who compared the Indian batter with AB de Villiers, for having a 360-degree game.
Ponting said that Suryakumar should bat at No. 4 in the Indian line-up.
On the latest episode of The ICC Review, Ponting said, “Surya (Yadav) scores 360 degrees around the ground, a bit like an AB de Villiers did when he was in his actual prime. The lap shots, the late cuts, you know, the ramps over the keeper’s head. He can hit down the ground.”
“He hits really well over the leg side, flicks to deep backward square particularly well, and he’s a good player of fast bowling and is a good player of spin bowling.”
Suryakumar, 31, has scored 672 runs at an average of 37.33 and a strike rate of 175.45 in 23 games and presently ranks at No.2 in the ICC T20I batting rankings, behind Pakistan skipper Babar Azam.
“I think you’d find him in the Indian team for the T20 World Cup, not just their squad. And if he’s in that team, then I think all the fans in Australia are going to see a very, very good player,” Ponting, who has seen Suryakumar very close in his early years at Mumbai Indians, said.
“He’s quite a confident person. He backs himself and he’s never going to step down from a challenge or any situation that arises in a game. I feel he thinks he can win that situation and therefore go on and win the game for his team.”
When inquired as to whether Suryakumar would make India’s best XI, the former Australian skipper said he has “played better than anybody else in the Indian team for the last couple of series” and should be placed at the top order.
“It’s got to be in the top four, I think. I said stick with him (Virat Kohli) in his traditional spot, which has been No. 3,” Ponting said.
“For Surya, it’s one, two or four. I think he can open, but I think he’s probably, you know, if you could probably just keep him away from the new ball, let him control the middle part of the game outside the Powerplay, through in the middle, and if he’s in at the end, you know what can happen.”
Ponting also said, “I think in the top four is, well, actually I’ll go out on a limb: I don’t want him to open. I think number four is his best spot.”