Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], November 23 (ANI): Former West Indies skipper Brian Lara feels Mumbai Indians' 'most reliable player' Suryakumar Yadav should have been included in India's squad for the Australian tour, which gets underway on Friday.
Suryakumar has scored 5,326 runs at an average of 44.01 in 77 first-class matches while he has amassed 3,492 runs from 165 T20s games averaging at 32.33.
The right-handed batsman had a dream run in the recently concluded 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) as he played a vital role in Mumbai Indians' fifth title win.
Suryakumar stood like a wall batting at number three for Mumbai Indians. He scored 480 runs striking at 145.01 in 16 matches but the 30-year-old didn't find any place in the Indian squad for the long multi-format tour.
Lara praised the right-handed batsman for his capability to bat under pressure and had no hesitation in saying that the 'class player' should have been in the Indian squad.
"Yeah, definitely. He's a class player. I don't just look at players that score runs, I look at their technique, capabilities under pressure, positions that they're batting and for me, Suryakumar Yadav has done such a wonderful job for Mumbai. He comes to bat on the back of Rohit Sharma, and Quinton de Kock and every time, they are under pressure, he comes in at No. 3," Lara said while speaking on Star Sports show Cricket Connected.
"Just remember, your No. 3 batsmen, other than the openers, the No. 3 batsman in any cricket team is normally your best player, your most reliable player. And for me, he has been that for Mumbai Indians and I see no reason why, looking at the squad, he can't be a part of it," he added.
Meanwhile, the Indian squad has been training simultaneously both with the white and red ball in Sydney.
India and Australia will first lock horns against each other in ODIs and T20Is and then both sides will shift their attention to the longest format of the game. The first ODI will be played at Sydney Cricket Ground on Friday. (ANI)