Flexibility has been the buzzword in India’s batting in recent months, but Mohammad Kaif feels Suryakumar Yadav should not be moved from No.4 in T20Is.
Suryakumar has batted at various positions in the Indian T20I lineup over the past year, even opening the innings in a few matches. Against Pakistan, he was moved to No.5 as left-hander Ravindra Jadeja was promoted ahead of him. He returned at No. 4 against Hong Kong.
The 31-year-old’s batting position is a matter of discussion ahead of the Indo-Pak Asia Cup 2022 clash on Sunday, September 4 in Dubai. Sharing his thoughts on the same, Kaif said Sportskeeda:
“Whether a wicket falls on the first ball or the second ball or after 10 overs, Suryakumar Yadav should bat at No. 4. He should not be held back if Pakistan’s fast bowlers play well. That shouldn’t be the thought process.
“Suryakumar is suitable for slot no. 4. No matter what happens, he shouldn’t be moved from No. 4. I feel the captain and coach should stick to that plan.”
Suryakumar was dismissed for a run-a-ball 18 against Pakistan, cleaned up by Naseem Shah. Was adjudged Man of the Match for his stunning 26-ball 68* against Hong Kong. His innings was studded with six fours and as many sixes.
“He is someone who has to bowl a lot of overs” – Mohammad Kaif on Suryakumar Yadav
Describing Suryakumar as a versatile batsman, Kaif pointed out that he can bat anywhere. He, however, reiterated that the Mumbai batsman must have a fixed place in the line-up. He concluded:
“He has the ability to score runs when he opens the innings. At the death, he can hit four sixes in the last over. He plays spin very well in the middle overs. He is someone who has to bowl a lot of overs. He can come in at 4 and play his role. Suryakumar’s place at position no. 4 must be ticked.”
Since making his international debut in March 2021, Suryakumar has been a key figure in India’s T20I squad. In 25 matches, he smashed 758 runs at an average of 39.89 and a strike rate of 177.51.