Former India cricketer Suresh Raina believes right-handed batter Suryakumar Yadav should be playing for India in all three formats of the international game while adding that he should be given a chance to play Test cricket.
Suryakumar set the world of men’s T20I cricket alight in 2022 and also won the ICC Men’s T20I Player of the Year award. Though he hasn’t found his groove in ODI cricket yet, Suryakumar, who averages 44.75 in first-class cricket, has been included in India’s 17-member Test squad for the first two Tests against Australia starting from February 9 in Nagpur.
“Absolutely, the way he is performing. I think he should play in all three formats and without him, all three formats should not even exist. The way he performed, the way he shows intent, the way he plans different shots, he also plays fearlessly and knows how to use the dimension of the ground.”
“He is a Mumbai player and knows how to play red-ball cricket. I think he has a great chance — playing Test cricket will get him another establishment in ODIs and some stability as well. He will score multiple 100s and then 200s,” said Raina in a daily show named ‘Aakashvani’ on Jio Cinema.
Pragyan Ojha, the former India left-arm spinner, agreed with Raina’s views. “Absolutely he should be in the Test team. The way he has played cricket, and the way he has performed, I think he must be there in all three formats.”
“I know why this question is coming. The way young talent Sarfaraz Khan is performing at the moment. I understand there is temptation and I think his time will come. But Surya deserves a hundred per cent to be in the Test team.”
Abhinav Mukund, the ex-India Test opener, disagreed and felt that Sarfaraz, who has been in astonishing form in first-class cricket in the last three years and has hit three centuries in the current Ranji Trophy season, should be given a chance.
“Why? Because why keep the Ranji trophy? Why not reward domestic performances? Sarfaraz Khan has been in insane form, I would have rewarded him with a cap for the Australia series at least.”
“Suryakumar Yadav is exceptional in the T20 format. They want the same sort of belligerence from him on the Test side. But unfortunately, I’m the guy that follows hierarchy and Sarfaraz should be there.”