“Really a shame that he can only play three balls”

Indian team captain Rohit Sharma said that Suryakumar Yadav struggled to record golden ducks in all three ODI series games against Australia at home. He felt that too much can’t be read from the batter’s performance because he played so few deliveries.

Suryakumar, 32, was trapped by Australian left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc in the first two ODIs. He was under immense pressure to keep his place in the decider’s team in Chennai. Management backed him up, but he was again sent off the first ball, this time against left-arm spinner Ashton Agar on a tank top.

Yadav’s dismal form in the absence of the injured Shreyas Iyer damaged the fortunes of India, who lost the third ODI by 21 points to concede the series 2-1. In a press conference after the loss, Rohit opened up about Suryakumar’s forgettable performance with the willow:

“He only played three balls in the series. I don’t know how far you can examine it. He got three good balls. Today (Wednesday) I didn’t think it was such a good ball. He just picked the wrong move. Maybe he should have come forward. He knows better.

“He plays the spin so well, which is why we wanted to retain him and give him that role of the final 15-20 overs. But it’s really a shame that he could only play three balls in the series. It can happen to anyone. The potential, the quality is still there. He’s just going through that phase right now.

After making his one-day debut in July 2021, Suryakumar has appeared in 23 games in the format, scoring 433 points with a mediocre average of 24.05.

“I didn’t want our right-handers to get stuck” – Rohit on Axar Patel beating past Suryakumar Yadav

In their 270 chase, India promoted Axar Patel to No.5, while Suryakumar came off at No.7 at bat.

The scheme did not work, however, as Axar was exhausted for two. Asked about the rationale for changing the batting order, Rohit explained that it was a tactical move, stating:

“When KL (Rahul) and Virat (Kohli) were at bat, they (Australia) used a leggie and a left arm spinner. Surya was supposed to come in at five o’clock. But we thought the ball was spinning, and we didn’t want to not that our righties get stuck, that’s why we wanted a lefty.

“Axar, being in the form that he is, we wanted to ask him to come in and beat like he does and take the spinners. Then Hardik is obviously the best player at No.6. We wanted to keep him there and see between Surya and Jadeja, who we can ask to go forward.

Kohli (54) and Rahul (32) added 69 runs for the third wicket. However, India lost their way after the partnership broke down and were knocked out for 248.

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Edited by Renin Wilben Albert

Sports Grp1

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