'Play 45-55 balls and then...': Rohit, Dravid's clear-cut instruction to prevent Suryakumar Yadav's rampant ODI downfall
Suryakumar Yadav dished out an 'honest' assessment of his ODI form, while revealing how coach Rahul Dravid and captain Rohit Sharma are assisting him.
On Tuesday evening, Suryakumar Yadav once again proved why he is simply the absolute best. The No. 1-ranked T20I batter in the world, lived up to his position in the ICC rankings by playing another beast of an innings to help India stay alive against West Indies. Suryakumar has played many a memorable T20I knock for India since his debut in early 2021 and his unbeaten 83 off 44 balls is right up there. Surya's rampant half-century allowed India to recover after they were reduced to 34/2 early, and along with youngster Tilak Varma, got the job done to pull one back for his team.
But while Surya has set the T20 stage on fire, he remains an enigma in ODIs. By the time Surya had played 25 T20Is for India, his numbers were a staggering 758 runs. In the same number of ODIs though, SKY has managed 511. It is clear that Surya is not the same destructive batter for India in ODIs as he is in Tests, and despite being given repeated chances, things aren't just clicking. At a time when India's squad for the World Cup looks dodgy with no certainty over the participation of Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul – both will most likely recover fully but they'll lack match practice – the team management has shown its faith on Surya, but unfortunately, the returns aren't appealing enough.
SKY himself has 'no shame' in admitting that his ODIs numbers have been pretty abysmal to say the least. Opening up on his ODI struggles, Suryakumar dished out an 'honest' assessment of his form, while revealing how coach Rahul Dravid and captain Rohit Sharma are assisting him in cracking the ODI game.
"To be honest, my one-day numbers are absolutely bad and there's no shame in admitting that. Everybody is aware," Suryakumar said after the match. "We all talk about honesty and you have to be, but how you can improve is more important. Rohit (Sharma) and Rahul (Dravid) sir have told me that this is the format that I don't play much, so you have to play it more and think about it. If you are batting in the last 10-15 overs, think what you can do for the team - all we want from you is, play 45-50 balls if you are getting to bat in the 15-18 overs, play your own game."
Why Suryakumar Yadav finds ODIs more challenging
Suryakumar's start in ODIs was full of promise. In his first five ODIs, Surya produced scores of 31 not out, 53, 40, 39, 34 not out and 64. But ever since, it's like form has entirely eluded him in one-dayers. Against Australia earlier this year, Surya's career endured the lowest of lows when he was registered a hat-trick of golden ducks. A part of this inconsistency, Surya feels, stems from the stark difference in the number of ODIs and T20I India have played recently, but with the Asia Cup lined-up, Surya has a chance to hit the reset button and give his ODI career a fresh lease of life.
"We have been playing T20 format so much that I have gotten used to it. One-day is a format that I don't play much and I find it as the most challenging format. You have to bat differently - if a wicket falls early, you have to bat a little like in Test cricket, then in between you try to accelerate ball by ball and towards the end, you have to bring in the T20 approach," Suryakumar added.
"So I have been trying to apply what the team management has told me so far about the format. I try to take some time in ODI as per the situation and then play my game towards the end. I will try to repay the faith. We have 7-8 games before ODI World Cup. It’s enough for a team to prepare. We also have a camp before that where all the players will gather. We will try to win, hopefully."