Former South Africa captain AB de Villiers has heaped praise on Suryakumar Yadav, saying that the the India batter has come a long way, but the one thing he will have to focus on is his consistency. Surya has hit over 1,000 T20I runs this year at a strike-rate of over 180 and in the ongoing T20 World Cup 2022, he has taken the world by storm with his innovative strokeplay, having already scored 225 runs at a strike-rate of 194.
He will be in action once again when India take on England in the semi-final at the Adelaide Oval on Thursday (November 10). "I am very happy for Surya. I think he has come a very long way. I never saw this happening, the way he is playing.
"He was very conservative and stuck to his game plans at the start but he is now laying the platform and foundation and then starting to dominate the bowlers. It is fantastic to see that and he has a bright future ahead of him," de Villiers told PTI during his recent visit to Mumbai.
While Surya has all the shots in the book and perhaps is as versatile as de Villiers himself, the South Africa batter feels consistency will be key for Surya.
"The only thing he will have to concentrate on is his consistency. He will have to do this for 5 to 10 years and then he will find himself in the golden books of cricket players," de Villiers, who retired from all forms of cricket in 2021, said.
"Any player that gets into form... I think of quite a few guys that really start playing at the peak of their powers, that makes me very exciting.
"It is beautiful to watch when they are really free and having fun out there. Great to watch Surya play the way he is playing now," he further added.
Speaking of the ongoing World Cup, while de Villiers feels that the best four teams are in the semis, he has called for more matches to be played at the mega event. In the Super 12, barring the top eight teams, four came in from after finishing top two in their group in the first round.
Six teams were then divided into two groups and each played five matches with two from each, making the semis. De Villiers however had other ideas.
"I feel the top four teams in the world are in the semifinals of the World Cup. I do feel there should be more games. There are not enough games," he stated.
"If you have 10 teams, you play nine games and you get the top four and then you have the IPL playoff-like system where one plays two, three plays four and if one or two loses they play the winner of three and four.
"That to me is a fair system. 99 percent of the times you will get the best team win the tournament," he further explained.
Considered to be one of the greatest players of his generation, de Villiers has scored over 20,000 international runs in a career that spanned 14 years.
He was last seen in action for the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 in the UAE. He is only one of two overseas players to have more than 5,000 runs in the history of the tournament.