Veteran opener Robin Uthappa on Wednesday heaped praises on Suryakumar Yadav for his ability to bat anywhere and make a difference in the game. The Mumbai Indians (MI) batter was at his sublime best during the T20I tournament opener between India and New Zealand in Jaipur. Batting at number 3, Suryakumar smashed 62 runs off 40 balls at an impressive strike rate of 155 as India defeated New Zealand by five wickets to take a 1-0 lead in the series. Suryakumar’s knock was laced with six fours and three sixes and he was also awarded the player of the match trophy for his performance.
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However, despite his brilliant show with the bat at number 3 position, Uthappa wants him to bat lower down the order at number 4 or five to provide explosive wicket-keeper batter Rishabh Pant much needed support in the end to finish matches.Uthappa also added that the 31-year-old’s shot selection and ability to smash boundaries from the first ball makes him ‘dangerous’ for the opposition at any position.
“He can bat at 4-5 so that Pant has got some support to finish games,” Uthappa told ESPNcricinfo.
During the post-match presentation at the end of the first T20I, Suryakumar has himself said that he does not have any preference when it comes to batting position.
Former New Zealand skipper Daniel Vettori also echoed Uthappa’s sentiments, saying that Suryakumar “could be the guy to bat 4-5 to complement the top 3.”
So far, Suryakumar has played just nine T20Is and scored 243 runs at a staggering strike rate of 160.92. He has also scored three half-centuries and his highest score in the T20Is is 62.
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Meanwhile, the second T20I match between India and New Zealand will be played at the JSCA International Stadium Complex, Ranchi on Friday, November 19 with the series finale taking place on Sunday at the Eden Gardens stadium of Kolkata.
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