Glenn Maxwell believes that no team has a player like Suryakumar Yadav in their XI, and that watching him bat is “hard to watch” because no one can execute shots as he does.
Suryakumar, who made his debut in 2021, has been in exceptional form in T20Is, making 1,408 runs at an average of 44 with a strike rate nearing 181. With two hundreds and 12 fifties already, the right-hander’s run can be compares favourably to the greatest peaks in the format’s history, with his ability to tee off from ball one making him a bigger threat.
This year, Suryakumar has scored 1,164 runs at a strike rate of 187.43, continuing his form in the T20I series against New Zealand, where he made an unbeaten 111 in only 51 balls in the second game. India ended their innings at 191-6, with the next high score 36.
Maxwell, currently out injured due to a freak leg injury, has praised Suryakumar for being one of a kind.
Speaking to The Grade Cricketer, he said, “I saw the scorecard from the first innings and I screenshot and send it straight to Finchy [Aaron Finch]. I said. ‘What is going on here? This bloke’s batting on a different planet because look at everyone else’s scores and look at this bloke that’s 111 of 50 . What is going on? He’s way too good.’
“So the next day, I watched the full replay and he’s just extraordinary. The embarrassing thing is he’s so much better than everyone else, it’s actually hard to watch – it’s like ‘Oh God not him.’ No one we’ve got is close to that, no one anyone else has got is close to that. During the IPL, Jos Buttler was pretty close but Suryakumar Yadav is doing it in such a bizarre, ungainly way where he’s hitting the middle of the bat by just stepping across, deciding to sweep somewhere when someone’s bowling at 145 [kph], from off the wicket on the other side, and then just putting his head down, walking down, chewing some gum. Glove tap, bat tap, sort of a bit of a swagger and off he goes and does it again.
“He’s playing some of the most ridiculous shots I’ve ever seen and he’s doing it stupidly consistently. It’s just it’s actually a bit hard to watch because it just makes everyone else look so much worse than not being able to do that.”
Maxwell went on to analyse his batting method, saying Suryakumar’s hand and wrist speeds are what sets him apart.
“He plays the field so well. His wrists and hand speed are so quick, he’s able to make a last-second adjustment to make sure that he can get the ball onto the gap. Early on in his innings, he plays and misses a little bit because he’s going so hard at the ball and trying to put the bowler under pressure, so unless you get him out in those first four or five balls, I don’t think you can get him out. He’s just so good.
“The way he plays spin, the way he hits it over cover, he reverses very well, he sweeps strong and he is still able to hit the ball down the ground and to have that ability to hit the ball all over the ground but so powerfully all over the place – as soon as a quick bowls fast over the top stumps, he is already moving in position to hit a straight-bat shot over fine leg for six. It just goes miles, and he’s able to get his hands through so fast. That innings he played at the Perth stadium [68 off 40 against South Africa] was one of the most ridiculous innings I’ve ever seen, having batted on that wicket a couple of days before. Especially for an Indian, to bat in those conditions and be so successful, it was just incredible.”