Legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar has backed Suryakumar Yadav to be a part of the playing XI of the Indian team ahead of the first Test against Australia on February 9, Thursday. According to Tendulkar, Surya is "perfectly equipped" to play the traditional format.
"From entering into T20s and ODIs and now in the Test squad, he has made an incredible impression around the globe. Whoever follows Surya, they fall in love with his ability and the way he thinks," Tendulkar said in an interview with PTI.
"But Test cricket is going to be different. Surya looks perfectly equipped to play Test cricket. Someone of his calibre should be considered along with KL Rahul and Shubman Gill. All three are capable players and I don't want to pass any judgment here but all three are capable enough to walk into the team," he added.
Tendulkar also gave his take on the playing XI and his opinion on who should be a part of the line-up when the choice between KL Rahul and Shubman Gill is given.
"I don't want to get into team combinations and all that. But if we get into the recent past, Shubman Gill has been in good form and Rahul hasn't been able to contribute, but such is life. You go through these ups and downs. They both are excellent players and to retain position in the team, one has to continue scoring runs," Tendulkar said.
Tendulkar believes that Pujara's importance isn't recognised enough.
"I feel Pujara's achievements aren't recognised enough and his importance in the team isn't recognised enough, generally," Tendulkar said.
"He has played magnificently for the country and his contribution has been immense in whatever success the Indian cricket team has had," he added.
Sachin spoke about Ashwin's role in the team's bowling attack:
"I think he is just one short of 450 wickets. Ashwin is a world-class bowler and he has been delivering amazing performances for a number of years now. The variation he has is really, really special and he isn't afraid to try out things. He wants to make batter's life uncomfortable and that's how it should be," Tendulkar said.
"It is all about owning those 22 yards and he has multiple variations which can force a batter to think in a different manner and disturb a batter's gameplan. Along with that, he likes to play mind games and that is what makes any series far more exciting, interesting, and engaging."
Ravindra Jadeja will be making his comeback for Team India after getting recovered from his injury after more than 5 months and Sachin lavished praise on him.
"Jadeja as a package is tremendous. If you notice in the last few seasons, he has upped his batting and for me, he is good enough to bat at No.
6 and played enough crucial innings for India. In bowling also, he recently played a first-class match and got wickets (seven vs Tamil Nadu).
He had that unfortunate (knee) injury and players like him will overcome challenges.
"What Jadeja has achieved, he has become a crucial part of this Indian cricket team. A brilliant fielder as well and if I am not wrong, he is eight wickets short of 250-mark. He has also scored 2500 runs. He is in that special league of players, not many guys have been able to achieve in Test cricket," Sachin said.