Suryakumar Yadav is a great role model for youngsters, said former batsman VVS Laxman on the Mumbai batsman getting maiden India call-up.
Suryakumar, 30, after being backed by many former players to earn a national call-up, finally broke into the India squad after delivering for Mumbai Indians in the previous IPL edition and performing consistently in the domestic circuit as well.
The right-handed batsman has been picked in the T20 squad for the upcoming five-match series against England, scheduled to start from Friday at the newly renamed Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
"He deserves it, I think he is a great role model for youngsters, especially in India; because they lose patience very quickly - because all positive run-getters in first-class cricket expect to get into the Indian team - but it is difficult.
"There is so much quality, so much talent, and so much competition, but what did Suryakumar do? - he goes back to first-class cricket, scores runs for Mumbai, whenever he gets an opportunity for Mumbai Indians - he is a positive run-getter," said Laxman on Star Sports.
"He plays in tough situations and wins the match and that's what you expect from a player. Ultimately there is a saying which my coach taught me early on, 'If the selectors are not opening the door, break open the door!', the only way you can do that is by your performance - we're not sure if he will get to play in the playing XI but he definitely deserves a spot in the squad of that T20 Indian team," he added.
Along with Suryakumar, Ishan Kishan also earned a maiden India call-up. Ishan and Suryakumar had a stellar IPL season with Mumbai Indians last year in the UAE. Kishan and Yadav ended the tournament at No.5 and No.7 respectively in the leading run-scorers' list.
While Kishan made 516 runs at an average of 57.33, Yadav scored 480 at an average of 40. Haryana's Rahul Tewatia, who had an impressive season with Rajasthan Royals last year, also made it to the T20I set-up for the first time.
India's T20I squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma (vc), KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Yuzvendra Chahal, Varun Chakravarthy, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Rahul Tewatia, T Natarajan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Navdeep Saini, Shardul Thakur.