Brian Lara has admitted that he enjoys watching MI’s Suryakumar Yadav play this season, at No.3 where he has both played a cautious innings and a whirlwind one for Mumbai. From a bowling perspective, Lara stated that both Bumrah and Archer would stand out in all possible cricketing eras.
A large part of Mumbai Indians’ success this season has been their batting pillar Suryakumar Yadav, who has provided them with a much-needed impetus with his batting display. In the 15 games thus far, the right-hander has scored 461 runs for the franchise, at a tall average of 41.90, which is his best average in a season alongside a strike-rate of 148.23, again his best numbers. Alongside that, the continued improvement from Jasprit Bumrah, with the ball has made Mumbai stand out from the rest of the franchises.
Brian Lara, who has kept a keen eye on Suryakumar’s batting this season, admitted that he enjoys watching the right-hander go about his business, before calling him his ‘favourite.’ Alongside that, he also appreciated the right-hander for his ability to repair all sorts of batting damages for the franchise. The best example of that being the qualifier, where after being reduced to 0/1, the right-hander scored a 38-ball 51, which provided the franchise with the batting impetus.
“Suryakumar Yadav has become one of my favourites. If your best player is not an opener, he has to bat at No.3. He can repair the damage if Mumbai loses an early wicket and continue the onslaught if he has to. I have enjoyed watching him play in this IPL,” Lara told HT in an exclusive interview.
The former Windies skipper also lavishly praised the two pacers - Bumrah and Jofra Archer for their ability, adding that they could stand up and be counted in any era of cricket. He also stated that they would be ‘echelons’ of fast bowling across all eras.
“I can only say this: Bumrah and Archer could stand up and be counted in any era of cricket. Whether they were playing in the 2000s, 90s, 80s or even the 70s, they would be up there. And I am not belittling anyone from the past. But these two would be in the echelons of fast bowling in any era I have watched, played in, or am still watching.”
Despite a staggering 472-run season with the bat, Lara has opined that he would like a few changes in Devdutt Padikkal’s batting style to suit batting across all formats. For the same, he also added that the southpaw would need to work on his technique more to survive in Test cricket.
“Padikkal has a lot of potential. I would like to see him change a few things though. Ultimately when I judge a batsman, I don’t want to see him play only the IPL or T20s, I want to see him play Test cricket as well. Padikkal will have to work a lot on his technique to survive in Test cricket.”