No. 4 should be the ideal position for Suryakumar Yadav in the 2022 T20 World Cup
Suryakumar Yadav scored a century against England recently
With a lot of depth in the talent pool and fierce competition for a spot in the team, India will be looking to set their playing combination for T20 World Cup. With KL Rahul and Virat Kohli returning, number 4 seems to be the ideal position for Suryakumar Yadav where he can prosper in World Cup.
With the scheduling of the T20 World Cup, later this year in Australia, Men in Blue are gearing up for the tournament. The team led by Rohit Sharma and coached by Rahul Dravid would like to arrive at the best team combination they would want to play in the tournament. Senior players in the team like Virat Kohli and KL Rahul have been on the sidelines taking rest and injuries. However, they are back in the fray and so with the enormous depth in the talent pool for India, assigning each batter a specific role for World Cup becomes important.
The Indian team has been on an experimentation drive recently as many young players were given opportunities courtesy of the absence of senior players from the squad. The team opted for different opening combinations and also made continuous changes in the line-up. After opting for various different opening combinations, India preferred Suryakumar Yadav along with Rohit Sharma in the recent series against West Indies. He played a superb knock in the T20I series but with Rahul and Kohli back in the team, Suryakumar might be pushed down the order and that seems to be the ideal move at present.
With KL Rahul’s place inevitable in the team, the opening spot seems to be the only place he can occupy. The team can also consider Ishan Kishan or Rishabh Pant which will give the left-right combination. Virat Kohli is suited for number three and the team will need their in-form batter to control the middle phase. So, Suryakumar Yadav seems to be fit at number four. Also, his batting at number four will allow other batters to play in their favoured role. While batting at four, Suryakumar has scored 262 T20I runs from nine innings at 32.75 and a massive strike rate of 184.50.
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Further, 2022 has been a breakthrough year for him in T20Is scoring 428 runs from 12 innings at 38.90 and an impressive scoring rate of 189.38. IPL was also a brilliant campaign for the Mumbai-based batter this year with 303 runs from eight matches at 43.29 with a strike rate of 145.67. Suryakumar has form on his side and so he can be the most lethal weapon for the Indian batting unit when they will aim for the World Cup.
Saba Karim and Ricky Ponting had also opined the same about the Mumbai batter.
Karim stated that the position is suitable for Suryakumar as he is strong against spinners as well as pacers.
“I’m of the opinion that his best batting position is at number four, particularly when facing a high-calibre bowling attack. When competing in ICC competitions, batting at number four is a highly vital position; thus, you need a guy like Suryakumar there. He is equally effective against pacers and spinners and has a good strike rate,” Karim had stated to India News Sports.
Ponting also backed Suryakumar for the position saying he is the right candidate to control the middle part of the game with his batting.
"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,” Ponting had said on an episode of ICC review.
An amalgamation of analysis by these former cricketers, his ongoing run of form, and a diverse range of shots makes a strong case for Suryakumar to bat in the middle order.
With his ability to face pace as well as spin with ease, Suryakumar Yadav becomes a special batter in this Indian batting line-up. Some of the batters might have a problem with a left-arm seam or short deliveries or against legspinners but he seems to be a complete package. He can smash the ball to all parts of the ground and there is no stopping him with any field setup on his day. This was evident in his maiden T20I hundred against England where he shuffled outside leg to make room for himself. When the ball was bowled on off-stump he played it through covers.
When the bowler followed him and bowled it towards his body, he was expected to have trouble in playing big shots. But as he can play on both sides, Suryakumar played some brilliant shots in the leg side as well. Also, his strike rate of 184.50 at number four makes him the most explosive batter in the Indian line-up with a solid technique. He can provide a solid finish in slog overs while batting in the middle order if the need arises. Manipulating the field isn’t a very difficult task for him and in his position, he can wreak havoc with the bat.
All in all, Suryakumar has started living up to its hype in international cricket. His run tally throughout the year has almost doubled compared to last year. Also, the recent performances rightly point out that he deserves a ticket for the plane to Australia and he can rule the game while batting in the middle.