In T20Is, he is no less than Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant: Nehra singles out India's 'biggest positive' from Sri Lanka ODIs
- Former fast bowler Ashish Nehra feels India's middle order batsman is one of their biggest positives from the three ODI series against Sri Lanka.
As India pocketed the ODI series against Sri Lanka, there were quite a few positives that were up for grabs. Prithvi Shaw got starts and looked in great touch during his innings of 43 and 49. The two wicketkeepers had a good start to their ODI careers with Ishan Kishan hitting a fifty on debut and Sanju Samson scoring a composed knock of 46.
A couple of young bowlers had a good showing as well, with leg-spinner Rahul Chahar picking up three wickets on his ODI debut and almost snatching the match away from Sri Lanka in the final match, and left-arm pacer Chetak Sakariya impressing with economical figures of 2/34 from eight overs.
However, former India fast bowler Ashish Nehra reckons that the biggest gain from the three ODI series against Sri Lanka is the form of Suryakumar Yadav, who notched up scores of 31*, 53 and 40. Nehra complimented the batsman for showing incredible form and feels him being in good nick is a huge bonus for India.
"There are plenty of positives but the biggest positive for me is Suryakumar Yadav and the way he played these two innings. He couldn't convert the starts into a big innings but when you talk about X-factor, skill, no doubt, Suryakumar Yadav has it in the middle order," Nehra said on Cricbuzz.
"We have seen that for Mumbai Indians, he has opened, played at No. 3 and 4 as well. Here he played a bit lower in the batting order but if you look at his fours, singles... the confidence he has shown is worth praising. That is a big plus."
Nehra, in fact, feels Suryakumar is right on par with the established names such as Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant – especially for India in T20Is, while crediting the batsman's ability to slot in anywhere in the batting order.
"There is no such thing that he is a must-must. He is already in T20I and ODI teams. Even if Shreyas Iyer would have been in the team, even then he (Suryakumar) must have gotten a chance. In T20Is for India though, it is no longer the scenario that you have the same 4-5 good batsmen," Nehra added.
"If after them, you ask me to name a batsman, I would out Suryakumar Yadav there. Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya... he is no less than them. He is right up with those guys. Whenever he has been given a chance, he has always adapted even if he isn't habitual of batting at that position."