Despite being unable to replicate his T20I magic in the ODI format, Suryakumar, the world’s No. 1 T20I batter, was able to retain his spot in the 15-man selection for the World Cup, despite the exclusion of Sanju Samson and emerging youngster Tilak Varma.
“Suryakumar is a complete package. In the number where he bats, I don’t think there is any other better player than him in India. What he can accomplish at No 5 or 6, even Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, or Sanju Samson cannot replicate,” Harbhajan said.
Suryakumar is going through a slump and hasn’t scored a fifty in his last 18 innings.
“Many would say what he has done in ODIs? But the impact he has made in T20s is enough. He can play an impactful innings that would make the difference,” the 43-year-old said.
“When you bat from the 35th over, you need a game where you can find the gaps in the field, and nobody is better than Surya in doing that. He needs just 30 balls to change the game.
“Given a choice, I will make him play every time. You can’t waste such a talent like Surya.”
Harbhajan though added that the onus would be on the senior duo of Rohit and Virat to give the team a good start.
“A lot will depend on Rohit and Virat Kohli and how they bat because Shreyas has just come back from an injury. Ishan Kishan looked good. KL Rahul will play or not, we don’t know. Hardik Pandya will also play a key role like Rohit or Virat.
“So, I believe they will all have to come together, play some amazing kind of cricket to lift the Cup. Otherwise, it will be very challenging to be honest.”
(With inputs from PTI)