"Not yet the best T20I batter" - Tim Southee's big claim on Suryakumar Yadav
Last 12 months have been just incredible for Indian star batsman Suryakumar Yadav. He's in top form, which has earned him the No. 1 T20I batsman ranking for the 2022 T20 World Cup in Australia.
And now he has carried his form into the ongoing three-match series against New Zealand. SKY smashed his second T20I century on Sunday, hitting an unbeaten 111 off 51 balls to help India win by 65 runs in the second game at Bay Oval.
However, veteran New Zealand pacer Tim Southee believes that there is a long way to go for him to be called the best T20I batsman. Southee, who is the highest wicket-taker in the T20 internationals, bagged his second hat-trick in the second T20I.
He came out to bowl the 20th over and dismissed Hardik Pandya, Deepak Hooda, and Washington Sundar to achieve this feat. With that, he also equalled the record of legendary Sri Lankan pacer Lasith Malinga for two T20I hat-tricks.
However, when asked about whether Suryakumar Yadav is the best T20I Indian batter to whom he has bowled in his career, Southee said that Suryakumar has shown some great form in the last 12 months, both in the IPL and at the international level, and has scored runs consistently wherever he has played.
Southee further said that India has produced some of the game's legends, the best in the game, and SKY is one of them, but for him to be considered the best from India in T20 format, he must perform for an extended period of time.
Southee said, "There has been a number of great T20 players from India, so many great cricketers. Surya has been having a great 12 months and it is for him to continue to do what he has been doing (for over a period of time)."
The veteran Kiwi pacer also praised the 32-year-old for his brilliant century. He said that his knock was impressive, and he can play different shots, which made the difference in the match. For India, they have taken an unassailable 1-0 lead in the series, with the decider to be played on Tuesday at McLean Park in Napier.