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Suryakumar doesn’t quite know what to do in ODIs but he is a freak in T20 cricket, says Hussain

England’s cricket captain Nasser Hussain.
| Photo Credit: Reuters

Suryakumar Yadav is a bit clueless in 50-overs cricket but the swashbuckling batter “is a freak” who is absolutely in command in the shortest format and will be the one to look out for at the T20 World Cup later this year, feels former England skipper Nasser Hussain.

Since beginning his T20 journey for India in 2021, Suryakumar has quickly established himself as one of the best batters in the shortest format of the game, scoring four centuries and 17 fifties from 60 T20s.

His impressive run got him the No.1 spot in the ICC Rankings for T20I batters in 2022, which he has held on to since. However, the big-hitting batter has struggled to make a similar impact in ODIs.

“The person for the world to watch out for at the moment in T20 is Suryakumar Yadav,” Hussain was quoted as saying by the ICC.

“I mean, the bloke is a freak. The cliche of Mr. 360, but some of the shots he plays… and he is a bit of a freak because in fifty-overs cricket, he doesn’t quite know when to go, when not to go, what to do.

“But in T20 cricket, he absolutely knows what to do every single time almost, and it’s a fun game, T20 cricket and watching SKY, that is absolutely fun,” Hussain added.

The T20 World Cup is scheduled to take place in the Caribbean and USA in June, and Hussain has backed South Africa to win their maiden ICC trophy.

“I haven’t thought too much about this actually… but I’m going to go with South Africa.

“England are (reigning) champions, but not playing particularly well at the moment. It’s in the Caribbean and West Indies are going OK, then you have Pakistan, so can I choose all of these sides?” South Africa put some record-breaking performances in the World Cup last year before they lost to eventual champions Australia in the semifinals.

“I’m going to go for South Africa versus England in the final.” “I’m following (fellow commentator) Simon Doull a little bit here. Before the (50-over) World Cup, he tipped them to win it and it was a little bit left field. I mean, it’s still South Africa, one of the great cricketing nations, sporting nations, but I thought that was a good shout from Doully. And they played some brilliant cricket in that World Cup.” Hussain feels Cricket South Africa’s T20 league — the SA20, which was launched last year — has benefitted the national team.

“I think their (domestic) SA20 competition has really elevated some of their players and they have now got that depth and that class and that talent.

South Africa were without the injured pace duo of Anrich Nortje and Sisanda Magala at the ODI World Cup but the two are expected to be available for the T20 event.

“I don’t know where he is with his injury at the moment, but someone like Anrich Nortje is what they were missing maybe in those vital games, towards the end of the World Cup.

“So I think, maybe, if Nortje can get fit for the T20 World Cup in the Caribbean and with their dynamic batting line-up, I’m going to look for South Africa,” Hussain added.

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