April 14, 2023

Ponting: Suryakumar is the kind of player who can win you a World Cup

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Despite Suryakumar Yadav’s recent lean form, former Australia captain Ricky Ponting believes India should back him going into the home 50-over World Cup later this year.

“Everyone around the world knows what Surya (Suryakumar) can do in white-ball cricket. They should stick with him, I feel,” Ponting told the ICC Review. “Because he is I think the kind of player that can win you a World Cup.

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

“When you invest in these guys, you give them an opportunity, you give them a pretty clear direction and get some clarity around the role you want them to play, they’ve got so much talent that they can single-handedly win you games.

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

Suryakumar, in 21 ODI innings, has scored 433 runs at an average of 24.05 with two half-centuries.

Ponting picked out the No. 5 slot as the best option for Suryakumar.

“I think he was only batting at 5 anyway, and I wouldn’t want him much lower than that, especially with Hardik (Pandya), (Ravindra) Jadeja and Axar (Patel) and all those guys there,” Ponting said. “I’m a big believer in giving your best batsman as much time as you can in all formats of the game.

“Because if you keep them down the order quite often, sometimes you don’t get to use your best players and that’s the last thing you want. So I think the No. 5 slot is perfect for him and he just needs to grow into that role.”

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