Since his debut in 2021, no batter has scored runs at a quicker pace than the 31-year-old Suryakumar Yadav. The right-hander has been a burst of fresh air in the Indian team, with explosive style of batting, striking at 175.5.
Suryakumar also averages 37.33 with the bat, including scoring a scintillating century away from home against England on a tough track. Even when promoted at the top of the order against the Windies, the right-hander showed his versatility. Former Australian skipper, Ricky Ponting opined that the Mumbai Indians’ batter has to play at No.4.
"It's got to be in the top four, I think. I said stick with him (Virat Kohli) in his traditional spot, which has been number three," Ponting said on the latest episode of The ICC Review.
"For Surya, it's one, two or four. I think he can open, but I think he's probably, you know, if you could probably just keep him away from the new ball, let him control the middle part of the game outside the Powerplay, through in the middle, and if he's in at the end, you know what can happen."
"I think in the top four is, well, actually I'll go out on a limb: I don't want him to open. I think number four is his best spot."
Not just that, Ponting also likened the Indian batter to South African great, AB de Villiers, in terms of having the range of shots.
"Surya (Yadav) scores 360 degrees around the ground, a bit like an AB de Villiers did when he was in his actual prime. The lap shots, the late cuts, you know, the ramps over the keeper's head. He can hit down the ground," Ponting said on the latest episode of The ICC Review.
"He's a very, very exciting player and I'm sure someone that's going to find himself in their team, not just their squad," Ponting, who has seen Yadav up close in his early years at Mumbai Indians, said.
The Australian also revealed that the 31-year-old is a ‘confidence’ person and reckoned that he could win any game for India.
"He's quite a confident person. He backs himself and he's never going to step down from a challenge or any situation that arises in a game. I feel he thinks he can win that situation and therefore go on and win the game for his team."