Former Indian batter, Mohammad Kaif has criticized India’s team management for deciding to open the innings with Suryakumar Yadav as they had tried Rishabh Pant as an opener in the England series. Kaif further added they are known for giving players ample chances but it was not the same in this case. The Indian team management surprisingly decided open with Suryakumar Yadav alongside Rohit Sharma in the first T20I of the five-match series at Brian Lara Stadium.
Many thought Rishabh Pant, who was experimented with as an opener in England T20Is recently, could be the one to come out and bat with skipper Rohit Sharma, but Suryakumar Yadav walked into the middle. Though the decision did not work as the BCCI would have liked. At the top,
Suryakumar did play a few classy strokes, but he never seemed totally comfortable at the crease, particularly against Akeal Hosein. The stylish batter rode on his luck a couple of times before getting dismissed on 24 off 16 balls before he was undone by Hosein in the fifth over.
While having a conversation with FanCode at the end of India’s innings, Mohammad Kaif slammed India’s team management, as he said, “Whatever that was I did not understand it, at all. If you were trying Rishabh Pant as the opener for 2-3 matches then you should have gone with him today as well. Give him at least 5 chances. And this strategy of captain Rohit Sharma and coach Rahul Dravid, they back the players at least 5-6 matches. But this did not happen with Pant.”
He further added, “And Suryakumar has the role of controlling the innings in the middle and adding those finishing touches. In fact, his role will remain as the No.4 batter when Kohli and Rahul return. But Pant should have been tried. Clearly did not understand what happened. Ishan Kishan is also waiting.”
It would be interesting to see if India continues with Suryakumar as an opener in the second T20I versus West Indies, scheduled for August 1.