The 13th edition of the Indian Premier League concluded earlier this week with a roaring victory for the Mumbai Indians who lifted the title for a record fifth time. While several players from different franchises made a mark in the tournament with their brilliant performances, one particularly stood out for Harbhajan Singh.
The veteran India spinner highlighted the performance of MI’s Suryakumar Yadav, describing the batsman as the “Indian AB de Villiers”. That is no minor comparison.
Suryakumar scored 480 runs in 16 matches at a strike rate of 145.01. In the previous editions, the Mumbai Indians batsman has scored 512 and 424 runs in 2018 and 2019 respectively. His exclusion from the squad for the tour of Australia has upset many former cricketers and other cricket enthusiasts, including fans.
Harbhajan Singh is one of those who have questioned Suryakumar’s omission from the limited-overs series despite his splendid job over the years in the IPL and domestic cricket.
“There is no doubt that Suryakumar Yadav has transformed himself from being the game-changer to a primary match-winner for the Mumbai Indians. He had taken up a lot of responsibility of their batting,” he told Star Sports.
“And it is not that he plays at the strike rate of 100, if you see his strike rate, he starts hitting from the first ball itself.”
“It is difficult to stop him as he has all types of shots. He hits overs covers, plays the sweep also well, plays spin very well, plays fast bowling amazingly well. He is the Indian AB de Villiers,” the spinner added.
However, Harbhajan expressed hope that Suryakumar would don the Indian team colours.
“I feel he should have been selected for the Indian team. It didn’t happen but he is not far away. He is an unbelievable player. The sort of batting Suryakumar Yadav has done, he has attracted everyone towards him.”