India are all set to lock horns with Australia in a three-match ODI series starting from Friday, September 22 at Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium, Mohali. Several senior players such as Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya, and Kuldeep Yadav have been rested for the first two games to give them much-needed rest ahead of the ODI World Cup 2023.
The absence of the senior players has given the opportunity to the team to test their bench strength ahead of the mega event. One of the players who desperately needs some game time is Suryakumar Yadav. The 33-year-old has been backed by the team management despite not having good numbers in the ODIs.
Ahead of the first ODI, Indian head coach Rahul Dravid stated that the team backs Suryakumar due to his ability to “change the course of a game” and hoped that he would turn it around in ODIs.
“He is in it and we have made our decision to do that and we completely back it. We back him because he has quality and ability that we have seen. Yes, we know we have at the moment seen it in T20 cricket but we know the kind of impact a player like him can make. He can change the course of a game. There is total clarity on the fact that we are completely behind him and hopefully, he will be able to turn it around,” Rahul Dravid was quoted as saying by THEWEEK.
Notably, Suryakumar has scored 537 runs in 25 innings in ODIs at an average of 24.40 and a strike rate of 99.81 with two fifties to his name. The team management decided to go ahead with the swashbuckling batter in place of Sanju Samson who has good numbers in his short ODI career.
The 28-year-old has scored 390 runs in 12 innings at an average of 55.71 and a strike rate of 104. However, the team management showed more trust in Suryakumar instead of Samson due to his T20I exploits. The Mumbai-born batter will be eager to justify his selection in the ODI series vs Australia.
Suryakumar Yadav has been a revelation in T20I cricket in recent years, scoring over 1000 runs in each of the last two calendar years. He is known for his innovative batting and his ability to score runs all around the wicket. Rahul Dravid’s comments suggest that the team management is willing to give Suryakumar a long rope in ODIs, despite his poor record so far. They believe that he has the potential to be a match-winner in this format as well.