Thu, 26 Jan 2023 10:03 AM IST
Ahead of the four-match Test series against Australia, former India cricketers Suresh Raina and Pragyan Ojha have backed in-form batter Suryakumar Yadav as all format player.
The right-handed batter had a remarkable performance in white-ball cricket last year, especially in T20Is. He led the run-chart in the T20Is for 2022 as he finished with 1164 runs at a sparkling strike rate of 187.43.
The 32-year-old became just the second batter to make more than 1000 runs in a calendar year in T20Is. He was also named the T20I Cricketer of the Year 2022 by the International Cricket Council and also featured in the T20I Team of the Year 2022.
"Absolutely, 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," Raina said in a conversation 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.
For the first two Test against Australia, Suryakumar Yadav is included in the squad ahead of the domestic consistent run-getter Sarfaraz Khan.
Pragyan Ojha agreed with Raina and said, "Absolutely he should be in the Test team. The way he has played cricket, and the way he has performed, I think he must be there in all three formats. I know why this question is coming. The way young talent Sarfaraz Khan is performing at the moment. I understand there is temptation and I think his time will come. But Surya deserves a hundred per cent to be in the Test team."
The first Test between India and Australia will be played in Nagpur on February 9. Before that, India will take on New Zealand in the first T20I on Friday, January 27.