'Without him, all three formats should not even exist' - Suresh Raina, Pragyan Ojha back Suryakumar Yadav's Test inclusion
"I think he has a great chance - playing Test cricket will get him another establishment in ODIs and some stability as well," Raina added.
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Suresh Raina expressed his thoughts on Suryakumar Yadav's surprise inclusion in India's Test team for the first two matches against Australia. The former player believes that Suryakumar deserves to play all three formats and also stated that without the latter, all three formats should not even exist.
Earlier this month, the BCCI announced the squad for the upcoming Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2023 starting on February 9 in Nagpur. Suryakumar and Ishan Kishan made it to the red-ball team for the first time after consistent impressive performances in white-ball cricket.
However, the cricket fraternity has been divided in opinion, with many slamming the selectors and the management for overlooking Sarfaraz Khan and ignoring domestic cricket performances. The young Mumbai batter has been dominating Indian domestic tournaments but the selectors are not impressed yet.
But Raina believes that Surykumar's intent and form in T20I cricket warrant a place in Tests as well. He also added that playing Test cricket will add stability to his gameplay in ODIs, where he is struggling to make an impact.
“Absolutely, the way he [Suryakumar Yadav] is performing, I think he should play in all three formats and without him, all three formats should not even exist. The way he performed, the way he shows intent, the way he plans different shots, he also plays fearlessly and knows how to use the dimension of the ground. He is a Mumbai player, and he knows how to play red-ball cricket. I think he has a great chance - playing Test cricket will get him another establishment in ODIs and some stability as well. He will score multiple 100s and then 200s,” Raina said in a show on JioCinema.
Suryakumar Yadav deserves to be in the Test team: Pragyan Ojha
Former cricketer Pragyan Ojha agreed with Raina's opinion, saying that Suryakumar deserves to be in the Test team and added that the player should be playing all three formats.
“Absolutely he should be in the Test team. The way he has played cricket, and the way he has performed, I think he must be there in all three formats. I know why this question is coming. The way young talent Sarfaraz Khan is performing at the moment. I understand there is temptation and I think his time will come. But Surya deserves a hundred percent to be in the Test team,” Ojha said.
However, Abhinav Mukund, who has played seven Tests for India, disagrees with both Raina and Ojha. He feels that Suryakumar is in excellent form in T20Is but Sarfaraz's "insane form" should be rewarded with a cap for the upcoming Tests against Australia.
“Why? Because why keep the Ranji trophy? Why not reward domestic performances? Sarfaraz Khan has been in insane form, I would have rewarded him with a cap for the Australia series at least. Suryakumar Yadav is exceptional in the T20 format. They want the same sort of belligerence from him in the Test side. But unfortunately, I'm the guy that follows hierarchy and Sarfaraz should be there,” Mukund said.