India clashed with Sri Lanka in the 2nd match of the three-match T20I series on Thursday, January 5. It was a game of thin margins, going into the last over with India needing 20 to win. And it was the visitors from Sri Lanka who eked out a win in the end. Suryakumar Yadav smashed 51 runs off 36 balls. However, his knock went in vain as the Men in Blue lost the game by 16 runs while chasing a mammoth 207-run target.
Suryakumar struck three fours and as many sixes in his 51-run knock. He strung together a 91-run sixth-wicket partnership with Axar Patel (65 off 31) but could not take his team across the finish line. Former Indian cricketer Irfan Pathan believes Surya cannot be compared to either AB de Villiers or Jos Buttler as the latter two are more renowned for their power game.
“It is very difficult to compare. You cannot compare with AB de Villiers as well because I feel AB de Villiers had more power. He was ahead of Suryakumar Yadav when you talk about hitting over long-off or overs the covers consistently,” said Pathan.
“If we talk about Jos Buttler, he has comparatively much more power, if you talk about range hitting. But if you talk about the range, Suryakumar Yadav has a bigger one – he can play the cut, hit over covers, mid-wicket, and play the sweep,” Pathan added.
He shouldn’t bat at no.3: Irfan Pathan
The former cricketer said India wouldn’t find a batter like Suryakumar in the middle overs. He went on to say that Suryakumar should stick to the position of number 4, where he can take the spinners on in the middle overs.
“He has two types of sweeps as well – he hits both behind and in front of the wickets. So, considering that, he might have less power but a bigger range. You won’t get a batter like him to play in the middle overs,” said Pathan.
“That is why I was saying in the last match as well that he shouldn’t bat at No. 3. No. 4 is the right position for him because he comes there and starts playing the big shots against the spinners right from the start, shows his range and keeps the strike rate up. You won’t get a better batter than him at No. 4 in world cricket,” Pathan added.