- Sinchan Saha | March 23, 2023 | 3:04 pm
Dravid said that SKY would be in the team for the third match, but he didn’t bat at No. 4 like he had in the first two matches. Instead, SKY was downgraded to No. 7, which surprised a lot of people and angered former Indian cricketers like Ajay Jadeja and Aakash Chopra.
Cricket is an excellent equalizer. Suryakumar Yadav is having a difficult time learning it. His world has plummeted to new lows in ODIs, after reaching never-before-seen highs in T20Is. Otherwise, how would you explain the No. 1 T20I batter breaking a world record by becoming the first cricketer to score a hat trick of first-ball ducks in one-day internationals?
In the three-match ODI series against Australia, India’s best T20I batter only played three balls and did not even put his bat to the ball once
Mitchell Starc defeated him LBW in both of the first two One-Day Internationals. Ashton Agar, a left-arm spinner, bowled him cleanly in Chennai, the series finale.
After making his debut in July 2021, Suryakumar has played in 23 One-Day Internationals, scoring 433 runs at an below-par average of 24.05. Head coach Rahul Dravid was questioned about Surya’s difficulty replicating his T20I form in ODIs prior to the third ODI. The team’s management, according to the former India captain, is prepared to give the 32-year-old time in the 50-over format.
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SKY was held in the XI for the third match similarly as Dravid demonstrated yet he didn’t bat at No.4 as he had done in the initial two matches. Instead, SKY was downgraded to No. 7, which surprised a lot of people and angered former Indian cricketers like Ajay Jadeja and Aakash Chopra.
India elevated KL Rahul to the position of No. 4, followed by Hardik Pandya at No. 5 and Axar Patel at No. 6. Captain Rohit stated that Suryakumar was initially scheduled to bat at number 5, but the team management held him back to face the Australian attack in the final 15-20 overs after India failed to chase down the 270-run target and lost the decider by 21 runs. Suryakumar actually topped the list.
“He plays spin really well which is why we wanted to hold him back and give him the last 15-20 overs where he could play his game. But it’s really unfortunate he could only play three balls in the series. That can happen to anyone. The potential, the quality, is always there. He is just going through that (lean) phase right now. Once we played the first 10 overs, the ball did not swing at all. There was no question of the swing where Surya could be troubled or anything like that. It was a tactical move. We wanted to use his potential at the back end along with Hardik. These two players would have been ideal for us but unfortunately, they got out.”
Rohit also explained why Axar Patel came out to bat at number 5 ahead of Suryakumar.
“When KL (Rahul) and Virat (Kohli) were batting, they (Australia) were operating a leggie and a left-arm spinner. Surya was actually slotted to go in at five. But we thought the ball was taking some turn, and we didn’t want our right-handers to get stuck, which is why we wanted a left-hander (Axar). Axar, being in the form that he is, we wanted to ask him to go in and bat the way he does and take the spinners on. That is why we pushed him up the order. Hardik is obviously the best player at No. 6. We wanted to keep him there and then see between Surya and Jadeja, who we can ask to go before.”
However, the plan to send Axar at number 5 failed. A mix-up with Kohli resulted in Axar being run out for two.
For the third wicket, Kohli (54) and Rahul (32) added 69 runs, putting India on track to surpass the 270-run target. But India’s hopes were dashed twice by quick wickets.