Former Pakistani captain Salman Butt heavily criticized Australia legend Ricky Ponting after he compared India’s Suryakumar Yadav’s 360-degree batting with that of South African superstar AB de Villiers.
Suryakumar has moved to the second spot in the ICC T20I batting rankings for men and is on the verge of dethroning Babar Azam from the first place given that he has been named in India’s Asia Cup 2022 squad.
Ponting, during a chat on the ICC Review, discussed Suryakumar’s batting position for India in the Asia Cup and the T20 World Cup 2022 and compared him with AB de Villiers given India's batter’s ability to score all around the ground.
“Surya (Yadav) scores 360 degrees around the ground, a bit like an AB de Villiers did when he was in his actual prime. The lap shots, the late cuts, you know, the ramps over the keeper's head. He can hit down the ground,” he had said.
But this statement hasn’t sit down well with Salman Butt, who on his YouTube channel, ridiculed Ponting for comparing the India batter with De Villiers.
Butt believes that AB de Villiers was one of a kind batter and opined that Ponting should have rather waited for Suryakumar to prove his worth in big tournaments before making this comparison.
“Even Suryakumar would realize that the comparison was a bit too much. Suryakumar has just started playing international cricket. He is talented and has played some very good knocks. But straight to AB de Villiers? Ponting should have waited a bit more. Suryakumar is yet to play in big tournaments. The fact is nobody ever has played cricket like De Villiers. You can maybe compare him with Viv Richards,” Butt said.
“I don’t think any player like that has even picked up a bat in recent years. The impact has to be of that level that oppositions know that if you cannot dismiss him you cannot win the match or someone who possesses the skill of making an incredible turnaround in a game. I feel no one in even recent history has ever played like him. There is Root, Williamson, Kohli as well who has been the world's no.1 batsman and has scored incredible hundreds, Rohit Sharma, as well. But you skip all these names and straightaway jump to De Villiers...maybe Ponting suffered a jet lag,” he added.