Flexibility has been the buzzword in India’s batting over the last few months, but Mohammad Kaif reckons that Suryakumar Yadav should not be moved from the No. 4 slot in T20Is.
Suryakumar has batted at various positions in the Indian T20I line-up over the last year, even opening the innings in a few matches. Against Pakistan, he was moved down to No. 5 as left-hander Ravindra Jadeja was promoted ahead of him. He was back to his No. 4 position 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 told 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 are bowling well. That should not be the thought process.
“Suryakumar is fit for the No. 4 slot. Irrespective of what happens, he should not be moved from No. 4. I just feel the captain and coach should stick to this plan.”
Suryakumar was dismissed for a run-a-ball 18 against Pakistan, cleaned up by Naseem Shah. He was adjudged the Player of the Match for his stunning 26-ball 68* knock against Hong Kong. His innings was studded with six fours and as many sixes.
“He is someone who must play a lot of overs” – Mohammad Kaif on Suryakumar Yadav
Describing Suryakumar as a versatile batter, Kaif pointed out that he can bat anywhere. He, however, reiterated that the Mumbai batter must have a fixed slot 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 must play a lot of overs. He can come in at No. 4 and play his role. Suryakumar’s spot at the No. 4 position must be ticked.”
Ever since making his international debut in March 2021, Suryakumar has been a key figure in India’s T20I squad. In 25 matches, he has smashed 758 runs at an average of 39.89 and a strike rate of 177.51.