If there is one player on England’s radar ahead of their T20 World Cup semifinal against India at the Adelaide Oval on Thursday, that is Suryakumar Yadav. The India middle order batter has been the player to watch out for in the tournament. He is the third-highest run-getter in the ongoing World Cup with 225 runs including three half-centuries, and doesn’t seem to put a foot wrong. If England are to beat India and progress into the final, getting the key wicket of Suryakumar would be high on Jos Buttler and his team’s agenda.
Previously, India and England have faced each other twice in a World Cup semi-final – in 1983 and 1987 with both teams picking up a win each. And as a blockbuster knockout game awaits us, former England captain Nasser Hussain is trying to dissect Suryakumar Yadav’s game by analysing the batter’s strengths and weaknesses. In a discussion with Michael Atherton, Hussain, who is head over heals about SKY, revealed that he texted on a WhatsApp group to find more details about Suryakumar’s game but was left flabbergasted at the response.
Also Read: Pakistan vs New Zealand Live Score, T20 World Cup 2022
“It was funny. I sent the CricViz guys a request. They were doing some prep for the game. I said ‘Come on, send me the strengths and weaknesses of Suryakumar Yadav. And on the WhatsApp group I got some 15 strengths – plays pace bowling well, spin well, hits through the square, scoops it more than any cricketer in the history of the game,” Hussain said on Sky Sports.
“Maybe, someone like a Mahela Jayawardene is the only one who has scored more runs behind square than him. His strike-rate all around. And then I said, ‘Ok, weaknesses? And the WhatsApp just dried up. The only one they had was slow left-arm spin. And England don’t have one. Dawson is in the reserve and I can’t see them calling him up. He was hobbling.”
But while England do not have a left-arm spinner at their disposal, Hussain is confident there is one player who could trouble Suryakumar on Thursday, and that is Mark Wood. Hussain recalls how Suryakumar smashed Jofra Archer for six off the first ball he faced in international cricket and despite there being an injury cloud hovering over Wood, the former England captain believes the ploy could work.
“It’s going to have to be Mark Wood up front. I would use him just to test Suryakumar out. He pulled Jofra (Archer) for six of his first ball. He might want to go harder up front with Wood. You know anybody can fail,” Hussain pointed out.