“I Think He’s A Match-Winner”, Ricky Ponting Praises Suryakumar Yadav

Ricky Ponting
Ricky Ponting

Former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting praises Suryakumar Yadav and says that he has the ability to “win” the ODI World Cup for India and the selectors should stick to him despite his woeful run in the format.

Ricky Ponting Praises Suryakumar Yadav

The number 1 T20I batter, still struggles to make an impact in the ODI format games. Suryakumar Yadav so dar played 23 ODI matches and scored just 433 runs at an average of 24.06.

In the recently concluded three-match ODI series against Australia Suryakumar Yadav became the first Indian batter to register a hattrick of golden ducks.

Speculations start to raise ahead of the ICC Men’s ODI World Cup 2023 scheduled to play in India from 5 October to 19 November 2023.

“Everyone around the world knows what Surya can do in white-ball cricket,” Ponting said on ICC Review.

“His previous 12 or 18 months have been absolutely outstanding. I feel they should stick with him because he’s the sort of player that can win you a World Cup,” Ponting added.

Suryakumar Yadav
Suryakumar Yadav(Image: BCCI)

But the former Australia skipper firmly backed the Indian batter, and said he could do what the late Andrew Symonds did in winning the 2003 and 2007 World Cups under his captaincy.

“He might be a little bit inconsistent but he’s the sort of guy that in big moments can win you games. A bit like the late great Andrew Symonds did for Australia,” Ponting said.

“So that’s definitely the way that I’d look at it for India. I wouldn’t be playing safe. I’d be going with match-winning players and I think he’s a match-winner.”

Which Position suits Suryakumar Yadav?

Ponting feels the number five spot is suited for Suryakumar. “I’m a big believer in giving your best batter as much time as you can in all formats of the game. Because if you keep them down the order, quite often you don’t get to use your best players and that’s the last thing you want.

“So I think the No. 5 slot’s perfect for him and he’s just got to grow into that role there.”

Who Will Replace Rishabh Pant

Pant, who was part of the Indian team in the 2019 World Cup is likely to miss the 2023 edition after near-fatal car accident. In his absence, India will need another wicketkeeper-batter and according to Australian cricketer Ricky Ponting, KL Rahul and Ishan Kishan are likely candidates to fill in for Pant.

It is worth mentioning, Ishan Kishan bagged a double century in the 3rd ODI of Bangladesh vs India at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram on December 10, 2022.

In the absence of Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul led the Indian team where Ishan Kishan opened the inning alongside Dhawan and scored a “record-breaking” double hundred.

Though this milestone put Kishan in the front run, KL Rahul’s ODI numbers and experience will definitely give him a lead. But the duo’s performances in the upcoming matches will definitely play a crucial role in their World Cup position.

KL Rahul

KL Rahul had kept the wickets in the ODIs against Australia. “Look, I do think they’ll stick with him (Rahul). I think in their World Cup squad, KL will definitely be there.”

Ponting however feels Ishan Kishan, being a lefthander, would be in the mix as the Indian top order is full of right handers.

“With Rishabh not being there now, they might think of maybe wanting to play a specialist left-handed batter in the middle order which I think would have to be Ishan Kishan in some role, whether that’s at No. 4 or No. 5.”

“Just to negate teams that have got left-arm off-spin because when you look at the spinners around the world now, there are very few right-arm off-spinners in ODIs and T20Is.

“You need to have left-handers through your middle order. Most sides will have left-arm off-spin and right-arm leg spin and if you’ve only got right-handers through the middle order, it’s a lot harder for those guys to play it.”

“So I think they’ll go into that World Cup with the two keepers in their squad and they’ll make the decision on what they need as far as their batting is concerned,” he added.

England are the defending champions, having won the previous edition in 2019 having defeated New Zealand by boundary count after the super over was tied.