Suryakumar Yadav is best suited for 4th against top quality bowling attacks: Saba Karim

Suryakumar Yadav’s magnificent effort featuring eight fours and four sixes saw India head on target in the 3rd T20I with an over to spare to take a 2-1 lead in the ongoing T20I series against West Indies .

Suryakumar Yadav is in a league of his own. The right-handed hitter, who can beat any opposition with his 360-degree stroke game, powered India to a seven-wicket win over West Indies in the third T20I against hosts West Indies on Tuesday.

His 76 from just 44 deliveries is a testament to India’s attacking approach in the 20 plus format, and Suryakumar Yadav was given free rein to shoot over the top alongside Rohit Sharma.

Photo of Suryakumar Yadav by Deepak Malik/Sportzpics for BCCI

Suryakumar Yadav best suited for the No. 4 position: Saba Karim

As his captain retired injured in the second set, Suryakumar Yadav kept the scoreboard moving with his flowing sets. His effort comprising eight fours and four sixes allowed the visitors to gallop towards the target with more to spare to take a 2-1 series lead going into the final two games.

Saba Karim.  - File photo of former wicket-keeper - The Hindu
Saba Karim. – File photo of former wicket-keeper – The Hindu

With less than three months remaining for the 2022 World T20, India tried several openings, and their punt with Suryakumar Yadav was not a failed experiment.

But former national manager and India player Saba Karim thinks Suryakumar Yadav must be in 4th place because his quality to score against “high quality” bowling makes all the difference, especially in ICC events.

“I still think he’s best suited at No. 4, especially against a top quality bowling attack. No. 4 is a very important hitting position in ICC events, you need a player like Suryakumar there. He’s equally proficient against pacers and spinners and scores at a healthy strike rate,” he said.

Suryakumar Yadav forged a stand of 86 runs with Shreyas Iyer, who made 24, and the partnership effectively ended West Indies’ hopes of victory. An unbeaten 33 from Rishabh Pant then sealed the game in St. Kitts. His latest batting display also rewarded him in the latest ICC Batting Ratings update.

Suryakumar Yadav has six scores of fifty or more in 20 innings in T20I cricket. Three of them come from third place, including the one from his debut against England in Ahmedabad last year, and two from fourth place.

On Tuesday he reached his last half-century as an opening hitter, after partner Rohit Sharma had to retire injured on the 11th, turning a potentially tricky 165 chase into a St. Kitts single.

Suryakumar Yadav has the ability to make the hitter ridiculously easy. He did it when he launched his T20I career with a hook on the first ball he faced, from Jofra Archer, for six years. Most recently in July at Trent Bridge he hit 117 for 55 in a 216 chase where no other Indian batter has gone over 30.

Suryakumar Yadav is brilliant in the middle order: Reetinder Singh Sodhi

Former Indian player Reetinder Singh Sodhi has also praised Suryakumar Yadav, explaining how he is the ideal choice for the middle order.

“He is an exceptional player, he has proven himself at international level. He’s brilliant in the middle order, he knows how to direct play and he knows how to rotate the shot as well as score boundaries at regular intervals. It will spin the scoreboard,” he said.

Reetinder Singh Sodhi.  Photo credit: Getty Images.
Reetinder Singh Sodhi. Photo credit: Getty Images.

Suryakumar Yadav moved up to second place in the ICC T20I Men’s Player Rankings, which is his career best. The Indian will likely have a chance to overtake Babar Azam in the coming week.

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