As India gears up for the third and final ODI against West Indies, the team management has decided to give Suryakumar Yadav a new role at the batting order. The Indian Express has learned that Yadav, who has been averaging just 6 at No. 4, will now be handed the responsibility of batting at No. 6. With the crucial No. 4 position posing a challenge for India in the last ODI World Cup, the team had hoped Yadav would fill the spot. However, with that experiment not panning out as expected, they have now changed their strategy.
Maximizing Hitting Talent in Death Overs
The team management believes that Yadav’s explosive T20 style can be best utilized in the death overs at No. 6. His aggressive approach and ability to play all around the park make him a dangerous player against both pace and spin bowlers. Yadav’s flexible wrists allow him to manufacture shots that can unsettle the bowlers’ rhythm and exploit unorthodox pockets in the field. In T20 cricket, he has proven to be a match-winner and thrives on putting pressure on the opposition from the outset.
However, Yadav’s attacking approach hasn’t yielded the same success in ODIs. With a current average of 23.80 and a strike rate of 100.42 from 25 games, he has struggled to convert starts into big scores. Despite this, the team management is confident that Yadav can find his footing in the 50-over format and be a game-changer in the second power play that falls in the middle-overs. Placing him lower down the order is seen as a strategy to strengthen India’s batting lineup.
A Chance to Cement His Place
As the World Cup approaches and with the fitness of Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul yet to be ascertained, Suryakumar Yadav now has an opportunity to secure his position in the ODI side. Even though he hasn’t been able to capitalize on his chances, Indian team coach Rahul Dravid has been supportive of the 32-year-old batsman, highlighting that Yadav is still adapting to the nuances of ODI cricket. Dravid emphasized that Yadav has already proven his talent in T20 cricket and domestic competitions.
Learning to Bat Through the Middle-Overs
One aspect that Yadav is currently working on is batting through the middle-overs, which is crucial in ODIs. Having played more T20 cricket through the IPL and competitive T20 tournaments, Yadav is still acclimatizing to the different demands of the 50-over format. The team management recognizes his potential and aims to provide him with ample opportunities to flourish in the role.
Former Indian player Dinesh Karthik had previously suggested that Yadav could be a perfect fit at No. 6, given his ability to turn the game around in the latter part of the innings. The team management, in collaboration with the selection committee, decided not to pick ODI players in contention for the upcoming Asia Cup and World Cup for the Ireland Tour. This decision is aimed at ensuring a fully fit Indian team for the World Cup at home.
As India looks to bounce back in the third ODI against West Indies, the spotlight will be on Suryakumar Yadav to make an impact in his new role at No. 6. The team management and fans alike hope to see him unleash his hitting talent and establish himself as a crucial asset in the Indian batting lineup.