Batter says he has found it challenging to adapt to the longer 50-over format after playing so many T20s
Suryakumar Yadav feels there is “no shame” in admitting that his performance in ODIs has been “really bad” and that he wanted to find a way to succeed in the 50-over format.
He has played 26 ODIs so far and averages only 24.33, though his strike rate is 101.38. Suryakumar made scores of 19, 24 and 35 in the recent ODI series in the West Indies, and prior to that had been dismissed for three consecutive first-ball ducks against Australia in March.
“Because we play a lot more T20Is, we know that we only need to express ourselves as per the situation,” Suryakumar said after his match-winning half-century in the third T20I against West Indies. “But ODIs are a format which we don’t play a lot of. And it’s a challenging format for me – if you lose early wickets, you have to take your time like in a Test; it is only at the end that you approach it like a T20.
“If I am honest with myself, my numbers in ODIs are really bad. And there’s no shame in admitting that; everyone knows that already. You need to be honest with yourself; but then, getting better is also important. That is what Rohit [Sharma] and Rahul [Dravid] sir have told me that because I don’t play a lot of ODIs, I need to practice and think as to what I can do. I can take my time, and if I happen to be at the crease in the last 10-15 overs, then I need to think for myself as to what I can do for the team.
“They have told me that all they want me to do is face 45-50 balls in an innings. They have told that I can play my game during my stay at the crease, just that I need to face that many balls if I get to bat in the last 15-18 overs. Now I need to convert that opportunity into responsibility, and bat as per the requirements of the team.”
India have two more ODI series – the Asia Cup and a home series against Australia – before the World Cup but they will have to name an initial World Cup squad of 15 by September 5, a month before the tournament begins on October 5. Time may be running out for Suryakumar to strengthen his case for World Cup selection, but whether he makes it or not also depends on whether KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer recover in time from their injuries.
“We have seven or eight games before the World Cup, which is enough for preparation,” Suryakumar said. “We also have a camp, where we will all gather. It’s important to spend time with each other, and know each other’s strengths and weaknesses.”