Suryakumar Yadav played an impressive knock of 62 runs off 40 balls to help India chase down the target of 165 runs set by New Zealand in the first of their three-match T20I series, in Jaipur on Wednesday. Batting at No.3, Suryakumar combined with skipper Rohit Sharma for the second wicket in a 59-run partnership before completing his half-century and putting the hosts in a commanding position. Despite being dismissed in the 17th over, Suryakumar’s knock helped set up the successful chase for India.
Having only played in nine T20 international matches so far, Suryakumar has already played some commendable knocks, hitting three fifties and amassing 243 runs at an average of 48.60.
After impressive outings in the Indian Premier League (IPL), the Mumbai Indians batter has now cemented his place in the Indian T20I line-up.
According to former India batter Robin Uthappa, India would be best served if Suryakumar bats lower down the order at No.4 or 5, instead of his usual No.3 position.
Speaking to ESPNCricinfo, Uthappa said, “I think the guy (Suryakumar) brings in a sense of versatility and the fact that he can actually move up and down the batting order. I have seen him at No.5 and 6 and I have seen him do incredibly well in that position as well.”
Uthappa added that having Suryakumar bat lower down the order would also help Rishabh Pant.
“I feel someone like Shreyas Iyer would fit really well in that No.3 position because he likes to take a little bit of time. Surya is not like that. Surya goes in there and gets going; and the array of shots that he has got, makes him a very dangerous batter in any position. So I think you should look to bat him at No. 4 or 5, so that (Rishabh) Pant’s got some support along there to finish games,” Uthappa explained.
“I think it will give him (Pant) a little bit of confidence. It will be something that will do him good as he moves forward into that same position, trying to finish innings; because India need a finisher, a dependable finisher. These small steps, as we move forward towards the World Cup, are going to be important steps for someone like Rishabh Pant.”
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