Former India spinner Harbhajan Singh has expressed his support for middle-order batsman Suryakumar Yadav’s inclusion in India’s provisional squad for the 2023 ODI World Cup. Harbhajan Singh commended Suryakumar Yadav’s aggressive batting style, stating that he can be a game-changer.
Suryakumar Yadav secured his spot in the 15-member squad despite his struggles in ODI cricket. During the ODI series against the West Indies, he scored 78 runs in three innings, acknowledging the challenges of adapting to the 50-over format. Harbhajan Singh, in a press conference organized by Star Sports, emphasized that Suryakumar Yadav deserved the World Cup squad selection over Sanju Samson.
“Surya should be selected ahead of Sanju Samson. Surya is a complete player. Sanju does not have the middle-overs game like that at the moment,” Harbhajan said.
Sanju Samson was part of India’s Asia Cup 2023 squad as a traveling reserve. However, he did not make it into the final squad as KL Rahul regained full fitness, with Rahul and Ishan Kishan named as designated wicketkeepers. Harbhajan Singh noted that Suryakumar Yadav’s ability to find gaps in the field and make a game-changing impact with just 30 balls makes him a valuable asset.
“Samson plays riskier cricket than Surya. Surya will need to bat the exact number of balls like he does in T20. When you bat from the 35th over, you need a game where you can find the gaps in the field, and nobody is better than Surya than doing that. If it were up to me, I would play Surya in every game. He needs just 30 balls to change the game.”
Suryakumar Yadav has scored 511 runs in 26 matches with an average of 24.33 and a strike rate of 101.39. Although he hasn’t scored a half-century in his last 20 innings in the 50-over format, his ability to manipulate the field could prove vital for India in the upcoming World Cup.
India’s World Cup 2023 squad includes Rohit Sharma (captain), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan (wk), Hardik Pandya (vice-captain), Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, and Kuldeep Yadav.