1983 World Cup-winning captain Kapil Dev is facing flak from Team India supporters following his controversial comments about Suryakumar Yadav (SKY).

In a recent interaction with a news channel, Kapil Dev called Suryakumar Yadav a “once-in-a-century player, something which wasn’t appreciated by the fans on social media.

Some said that Kapil Dev was out of his mind, considering SKY was yet to showcase his talent against major cricketing nations like Australia and Pakistan.

Meanwhile, others declared that the legendary Indian allrounder’s statement was a joke because Suryakumar Yadav was yet to cement his place in other formats. At best, he could be called the best T20I player in the world but anything more than that could be embarrassing for him.

“There are times when you are lost for words on how to describe this,” Kapil Dev told ABP News. “When you watch Sachin Tendulkar, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, you think whether there will be a player who can convince you that he’s at the same level as these. There’s abundance of talent in India. And the kind of cricket he plays, especially the lap shot over fine leg. What does a bowler do then? They are afraid of bowling him full – he can hit you over mid-on, can flick you for a six. It becomes difficult for a bowler. He consistently keeps on picking line and length. He’s toying with the bowlers.”

“It’s rare to see someone strike this way. I have seen amazing players like AB de Villiers, Vivian Richards, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Ricky Ponting but few can hit the ball as cleanly as Suryakumar. Hats off to him!” Kapil Dev added.

“Suryakumar Yadav is playing with the mindset of the players. In tennis, you try to predict whether the service will land to your right or left. He can judge early where the bowler is about to land. Few players have this god-gifted ability to play like this. It’s not easy. Players like him come once in a century,” Kapil Dev noted.

Kapil Dev’s stunning remarks about Surya came after he smashed a sensational century against Sri Lanka in the series decider in Rajkot during the weekend.

The swashbuckling cricketer took the Sri Lankan bowling apart in what was a wonderful exhibition of 360-degree batting at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium.

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Showing why he’s ranked No.1 in T20I cricket, Suryakumar Yadav slammed an unbeaten 112 off 51 balls, including 9 sixes and 7 boundaries.

It was the middle-order batter’s third ton in T20Is in only seven months since he struck his maiden hundred against England in July. With his century against Sri Lanka, SKY became the first non-opener in the history of T20Is to hit three centuries.

In the process, Suryakumar Yadav also became the quickest to complete 1,500 runs in the shortest format of the sport.

In 45 T20Is so far, the 32-year-old cricketer has made 1,578 runs with a highly impressive average of 46.41 and a stunning strike rate of 180.34. During his brief career for India, Suryakumar Yadav has already smashed three centuries and 13 fifties.

Earlier, the 63-year-old former cricketer pointed out the biggest flaw that has been severely affecting Rohit Sharma, and it was none other than his fitness.

In Kapil Dev’s opinion, Rohit Sharma will not be able to lead India to World Cup glory unless he spends more time in the gym and remains injury free for a prolonged period.

“There’s no shortcoming in Rohit Sharma. He has everything but I personally think, there is a huge question mark over his fitness. Is he fit enough? Because a captain should be someone who motivates the other players to get fitter, the teammates should feel proud of their captain,” Kapil Dev said.

The former India captain stressed if Rohit Sharma’s fitness levels improved considerably, it will motivate the youngsters to work even harder.

“I can say with surety that there is a huge doubt over Rohit’s fitness. There has been a lot of criticism that he hasn’t scored that many runs since he has become captain, I kind of agree with it but I don’t think there is any issue with his cricketing skills. He is a very successful cricketer. If he gets fitter, the entire team will rally around him,” Kapil Dev concluded.

India last won a World Cup title in 2011, and their last ICC trophy came in 2013 in England, both under the leadership of the great MS Dhoni. Since then, the Indians have failed to breach the semifinal barrier, losing at that stage on multiple occasions, most recently in the T20 World Cup to England in Adelaide in 2022.