'It's like watching AB de Villiers, everyone turns their TV for him': Graeme Smith on India batter Suryakumar Yadav

Updated on Dec 06, 2022 03:02 PM IST

Former South Africa captain Graeme Smith, who was instrumental in backing de Villiers in the early stages of his career, found similarities between him and India's Suryakumar Yadav.

India's Shubman Gill (L) and Suryakumar Yadav (R) touch gloves(AFP)
India's Shubman Gill (L) and Suryakumar Yadav (R) touch gloves(AFP)

Very few Indian batters - almost no one - except KL Rahul on a couple of odd occasions have managed to sort of put Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma in the backseat in recent years. Virat and Rohit have been the face of Indian batting for close to a decade now. While the likes of Shikhar Dhawan in ODIs and Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane and Rishabh Pant in Test cricket, have had their days, no one has been able to dethrone Rohit and Kohli from their pedestals. Suryakumar Yadav changed that this year. SKY, as he is known, made Rohit and Virat appear pale with his dazzling strokeplay and sheer fearless approach in T20 cricket. It's a format where Kohli is the world's leading run-scorer and Rohit Sharma has four hundreds but they are not the best in the Indian batting unit, at least on current form. Both on stats and impact, SKY is a long long way ahead.

The fact that Suryakumar's batting style is anything like Rohit and Kohli is also something that sets him apart. In fact, there have been very few in the world let alone in Indian cricket, who have batted with this consistency at a strike rate of over 180. The only other that comes to mind is AB de Villiers. The South African legend was considered a class apart for his sheer range of strokeplay and mindboggling execution.

Former South Africa captain Graeme Smith, who was instrumental in backing de Villiers in the early stages of his career, found similarities between him and India's Suryakumar Yadav.

"I've seen Suryakumar Yadav for a while now. I've been fortunate to watch him while commentating during the IPL. He grew every year. You could see he had the talent. It was almost like watching AB in many ways. You see the thinking start to get to the same level as the talent and ability. It's terrific to have players like Suryakumar Yadav coming through the ranks. The talking points, the energy they bring to the game. Everyone turns to the TV to watch a player like him. It's exciting and terrific for Indian cricket," Smith told India Today.

Suryakumar Yadav, the No.1 batter in ICC T20I rankings, has scored 1164 runs in 31 T20Is this year at a staggering strike rate of 187.43 with two centuries. Such has been the exploits of the right-hander in T20Is that the Indian team management is also considering trying him out in red-ball cricket.

Is Hardik Pandya the next Indian captain?

Another big topic of discussion has been the consideration of split captaincy in Indian cricket. Hardik Pandya appears to be the frontrunner to take over the T20I reins from Rohit Sharma. When asked about the same, Smith chose not to take any sides.

"The thing about Indian cricket is the amount of talent they have got at the moment. Rohit waited behind Virat for a long time. Ge's had huge success at MI as well. And Hardik obviously with GT was terrific. It's great to have leaders in your team. Indian cricket will figure out who that right person is to take them forward in the future," he said.

Get Latest Cricket Newsand Cricket Schedulealong with Cricket Live Scoreof ongoing matches.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    At HT Sports Desk, passionate reporters work round the clock to provide detailed updates from the world of sports. Expect nuanced match reports, previews,reviews, technical analysis based on statistics, the latest social media trends, expert opinions on cricket, football, tennis, badminton, hockey,motorsports, wrestling, boxing, shooting, athletics and much more.

SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
My Offers
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Sunday, January 29, 2023
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Register Free and get Exciting Deals