Suryakumar Yadav might have found T20Is too easy to deal with, but the same can’t be said about his ODI career. In the last month’s ODI series against Australia, the Mumbaikar bagged an infamous record by being dismissed for golden ducks in three consecutive games. That raised doubts about his place in India’s ODI plans, with the World Cup slated six months later.
However, former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting wouldn’t go down that path and likened Yadav to late Andrew Symonds, the kind of player who could single-handedly change the game.
"Everyone around the world knows what Surya [Suryakumar] can do in white-ball cricket. They should stick with him, I feel," Ponting told the ICC Review. "Because he is I think, the kind of player that can win you a World Cup.
"He might be a little bit inconsistent, but he's the sort of guy who, in big moments, can win you something. A bit like the late great Andrew Symonds did for Australia,” Ponting said.
"When you invest in these guys, you give them an opportunity, you give them a pretty clear direction, and get some clarity around the role you want them to play, they've got so much talent that they can single-handedly win you games,” he said.
Suryakumar Yadav is currently positioned as the No.1 batter in the world in the shortest format of the game, but in ODIs, his numbers are perplexing. From 21 ODI innings, he has amassed 433 runs at 24.05 with two half-centuries - very ordinary for the kind of batter he is. Ponting, however, stated that India shouldn’t play safe and play Yadav at the No.5 position.
“That's definitely the way that I'd look at it for India. I wouldn't be playing it safe, I'd be going with match-winning players and I think he's a match-winner. I think he was only batting at 5 anyway, and I wouldn't want him much lower than that, especially with Hardik, Jadeja and Axar and all those guys there. I'm a big believer in giving your best batsman as much time as you can in all formats of the game,” the former Australian skipper added.