Suryakumar’s ability to play unorthodox shots and his premeditated approach is simply outstanding. Be it a lethal pacer or a wily spinner, the World No. 1 T20I batsman Suryakumar has all the weapons in his armoury to send the bowler downtown.
Former India captain Mohammad Azharuddin, who is part of the commentary panel in the DP World ILT20, hailed Suryakumar’s selection in the longest format of the game and said the Mumbai batsman is capable of being a ‘three-format player’ like stalwarts Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma.
Azharuddin, who played 99 Tests and 334 ODIs for India between 1985 and 2000, spoke with TimesofIndia.com and discussed Suryakumar’s Test selection, Prithvi Shaw’s India comeback, KL Rahul‘s consistency, and much more…
Prithvi Shaw (AFP Photo)
Prithvi Shaw made a comeback after a long hiatus….
Prithvi has been performing well. When he made his debut he scored a hundred. It’s not easy to score a century or start your career, especially in Tests, with a century. I really like his batting. I am sure he will do well as he has got the chance once again.
Suryakumar Yadav (AP Photo)
After his incredible exploits in T20Is and ODIs, Suryakumar Yadav has been selected in the Test squad vs Australia. Do you think it is the right call?
Surya is an outstanding player. When he got a chance in the T20s, he performed. When he got the chance in ODIs, he performed too. I am sure he will do well in Tests. Just like Virat and Rohit, Surya is a three-format player. He will go a long way. He has got the right opportunities and most important is that he has delivered.
Whether you play ODIs or T20Is, every single cricketer wants to play the Test format. It has its own charm. Test cricket is every cricketer’s dream. And Surya chased that dream and it came true for him. There are many players who go on and perform in limited-overs cricket but they never are able to perform in Tests. Surya has got the opportunity and he will do well. Ishan too has got the chance along with Surya. I hope these two guys grab this big opportunity and perform well.
KL Rahul (ANI Photo)
Do you think KL Rahul is being given a long rope?
KL Rahul is talented and we have seen how he sends the opponents to the cleaners. There are some shots he plays and those are just amazing. KL Rahul lacks consistency. He is not consistent. If he works on his consistency, he will become one of the best batsmen in the world. He has a number of shots and the timing he has is incredible. He needs to be consistent to play for a long time.
Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli are not part of the T20I series vs New Zealand. Do you think it’s time India should look beyond Rohit and Virat in T20Is?
They (Rohit and Virat) are experienced players and played a lot of T20I cricket for the Indian team. We have seen many match-winning knocks from both Virat and Rohit. But we need to give youngsters and new players a chance now.
Umran Malik (AFP Photo)
Your take on speed gun Umran Malik…
He (Umran) is a brilliant bowler. You don’t get these types of fast bowlers easily. He is young and has to learn a lot. Speed is fine but he gives a lot of room to the players. If you give room to a batsman, then you will give away a lot of runs. Whenever he has bowled wicket to wicket and bowled with accurate line and length, he has got wickets. If you see his stats, he gave away 40 runs and 50 runs in his spells. So, he has to work on it. If he starts controlling the flow of runs, say 20 runs in 4 overs or 30 runs in 4 overs, he will get more wickets automatically. He is young and I am sure he will be given a long rope.