Suryakumar Yadav, the prominent middle-order batsman of Team India, has firmly established himself as one of the premier T20 batters in contemporary cricket. Holding a commanding position at the top of the T20I rankings for batsmen for nearly a year, the right-handed player’s performance in One-Day Internationals (ODIs) has been relatively lackluster.
In 26 ODI matches for India, Suryakumar has accumulated 511 runs at an average of 24.33, recording only two half-centuries, in stark contrast to his impressive record of 14 fifties and three centuries in 51 T20Is. His recent international appearance witnessed him being named the player of the match for a blazing knock of 83 off 44 balls, pivotal in India’s victory over West Indies in the third T20I, thereby keeping India’s hopes alive in the five-match T20I series.
What sets Suryakumar apart is his openness to acknowledge his struggles in ODIs, a trait not often seen in star cricketers.
“Frankly speaking, my performance in ODIs has been subpar, and there’s no shame in admitting that. While we value honesty, the focus should be on improvement. Both Rohit Sharma and Rahul Dravid have advised me that since ODIs are not my primary format, I must play more of it and contemplate my role. If I find myself batting in the final 10-15 overs, I need to consider how I can contribute to the team’s cause. The responsibility now rests with me to transform this challenge into an opportunity,” expressed Suryakumar Yadav during the post-match press conference following India’s seven-wicket victory.
Suryakumar’s recent match-winning performance against West Indies in a high-stakes contest may have bolstered his prospects of securing a berth in India’s ODI World Cup 2023 squad.
Commenting on his struggles in ODIs, Surya elaborated, “Given our extensive exposure to T20 cricket, it has become second nature. The familiarity with T20s allows us to express ourselves freely. However, ODIs pose a distinct challenge due to the need to adapt according to the match situation. For instance, if wickets fall early, the approach must be more measured (akin to Test cricket), followed by building at a run-a-ball rate, and finally, adopting a T20-like strategy towards the end.”
“I’m striving to adhere to the guidance provided by the team management in ODIs, which involves spending time at the crease, playing at my pace, and then transitioning into my natural game,” he added.