‘Indian teams in three formats shouldn’t even exist without him’: Suresh Raina’s audacious take on Suryakumar Yadav

Suryakumar Yadav had a terrific outing in 2022, as the middle-order batter scored 1164 runs in 31 T20I innings. Such was his approach that fans started comparing him with South Africa legend AB de Villiers for his innovative batting display. With the strike-rate almost touching 190, Suryakumar also managed to slam two centuries and nine half-centuries in the shorter format.

Acknowledging Suryakumar’s heroics, he was rightfully awarded as the ICC player of the year on Wednesday. While Suryakumar has stamped his authority in the shorter format, he will now hope to do the same in the longer format.

Suryakumar has been included in the squad for the first two Tests against Australia, which begins from February 9 in Nagpur. Suryakumar is yet to feature in Tests but with Rishabh Pant ailing after a horrific car crash, he could be seen filing the empty spot and KL Rahul could take care of the wicket-keeping duties.

Also Read | ‘Suryakumar Yadav is exceptional in T20s. But unfortunately…’: Ex-India batter on SKY vs Sarfaraz debate

Sharing his views on the same, former India cricketer Suresh Raina hailed Suryakumar’s wide range of shots, and backed the batter to give him game time at the upcoming Border-Gavaskar series.

“The way he is performing, I think he should play in all three formats and without him, all three formats should not even exist. The way he performed, the way he shows intent, the way he plans different shots, he also plays fearlessly and knows how to use the dimension of the ground,” noted Raina during an interaction with Aakash Chopra on Viacom18 Sports.

“He is a Mumbai player, and he knows how to play red-ball cricket. I think he has a great chance – playing Test cricket will get him another establishment in ODIs and some stability as well. He will score multiple 100s and then 200s,” he added.

The upcoming series will be keenly followed by cricket enthusiast, as it will decide India’s fate at the World Test Championship (WTC). India are currently placed second on the WTC table behind Australia and a series win will help them consolidate a place in the summit clash.

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