Mumbai, Sep 2 (SocialNews.XYZ) Former India cricketer Rohan Gavaskar reckons that Suryakumar Yadav will be playing a hugely influential part in the current set-up and also asked for the team management to decide where the right-handed batter can play for the batting order to revolve around him.
On Wednesday, Suryakumar slammed an unbeaten 68 off just 26 balls against Hong Kong. Coming out to bat in the last seven overs, he completely changed the complexion of the game on a pitch that wasn't as easy to play as he made it look as India made a daunting 192-2 in 20 overs.
He brought out his drives, slashes, scoops and sweeps apart from audacious wrist play, sending the ball all over the park to get his fifty in 22 balls. He eventually remained unbeaten, hitting six fours and as many sixes, which fetched him 60 runs coming just off the boundaries at a strike rate of 261.53.
"(On) Wednesday he was just phenomenal, and he made sure we had that little bit of push-in against the team by Hong Kong. So, look, as I've said many times before, if we are to really progress in the World Cup, Sky (Suryakumar) is going to be such an influential part in that team and play such an influential role in that team," said Gavaskar on 'Sports Over The Top' show on Sports18.
Since his T20I debut against England in March 2021, Suryakumar has often been applauded for his ability to play astonishing shots and more popularly a 360-degree player. In recent months, he has shown his flexibility in different positions of the India batting order in T20Is.
In July, he made a fine 117 against England at Nottingham coming at number four and a month later, he hit a 44-ball 76 on a tricky pitch against the West Indies at St Kitts while opening the batting.
"I've been saying this for a while. Listen, if we need to win the World Cup, our batting needs to revolve around SKY. Do we need to ask SKY what is your position? Where do you think you can make the most impact? Because we've seen him open, we've seen him bat at 3, we've seen him bat at 4. Do you feel that you know you can create the most damage opening the innings?" added Gavaskar.
In the 23 T20I innings since his India T20I debut, Suryakumar has scored 758 runs at an average of 39.89 and a strike rate of 177.51, including six half-centuries and one century. In 2022, he is leading the batting charts for India in the shortest format of the game, amassing 514 runs in 14 innings at an average of 42.83 and strike rate of 190.37.
"Do you feel you could create the most damage at 3 or 4 and then listen to what he says and give him that free reign? Because again (on) Wednesday (yesterday), everyone was talking about the pitch being a little tough and not so easy to play shorts on and then he comes out and plays the kind of innings that only players with a special ability. You know strike rate of over 200," concluded Gavaskar.