India’s struggles to find a reliable No.
4 batsman haunted them during the 2019 World Cup, and the same issue might arise again if Shreyas remains unavailable due to his ongoing recovery. However, despite Suryakumar’s failure to replicate his T20I success in ODI cricket, RP Singh urges against ruling him out as an option.”Suryakumar Yadav is a good option for No. 4, along with Shreyas (Iyer), provided he is fit. But if you are looking at him even as a backup option, it is important to give him game-time, and he is certainly a good pick,” RP Singh expressed during an interaction organised by Jio Cinema.
While Suryakumar is yet to make a significant impact in one-day cricket, RP Singh remains confident in his abilities. “The way he is batting, and the kind of batter that he is, he can be a good option for No. 4 or 5,” he added.
RP Singh acknowledged the scarcity of options for India’s No. 4 slot, making Suryakumar’s potential inclusion all the more vital. “You must always have backup options heading into major tournaments. His current form in T20 cricket has been very good; the one-day format is different because you have (to face) more number of balls. Due to that, he will have to change his game-plan a bit,” the former left-arm fast bowler explained.
He also emphasised that giving Suryakumar sufficient opportunities to showcase his talent is crucial, regardless of his lack of experience in the one-day format.
“You cannot have someone playing one match and then sitting out for two. If you think Umran is a long-term option, then he has to be polished accordingly,” RP Singh said.
Looking ahead to the ICC World Cup, RP Singh mentioned the young pacer Umran Malik as a potential addition to the squad. He acknowledged Umran’s advantage of pace but also highlighted the need for him to improve his overall bowling skills to be effective in international cricket.
“You have a good number of matches before the World Cup. He can get 5-6 games in the Asia Cup, and three more matches (against Australia). Umran has the advantage of pace. But the issue with him is the skill – his deliveries do not move much,” RP Singh commented on the young pacer’s prospects.
RP Singh also stressed the significance of Jasprit Bumrah‘s return to international cricket. He highlighted the need for Bumrah to play several matches during the upcoming Ireland tour and the Asia Cup to regain his rhythm after a period of injury layoff.
Finally, discussing the wicket-keeping position, RP Singh pointed out that Ishan Kishan could be India’s second wicket-keeping option for the World Cup. With Rishabh Pant unlikely to feature in the tournament and KL Rahul still working towards match fitness, RP Singh believes Kishan’s recent game time has provided him with valuable experience and confidence.
(With inputs from PTI)