Rahul Dravid put to rest worries about India’s batting in the ongoing ODI series against Australia and backed Suryakumar Yadav, who has two first-ball ducks as Shreyas Iyer’s replacement at the important No.4 spot. A day after Rohit Sharma said again that his captaincy philosophy is to give people with potential more time, Dravid said that Suryakumar should be given the same chance.
“Obviously, it’s unfortunate for Shreyas to get injured – he’s one of those guys we think will bat for us at No.4 and he has been given a lot of time in that position. Not really concerned so much about Suryakumar. You have got two first-ballers against two pretty good balls,” Dravid said of the two Starc deliveries – at 145 and 144 kmph – that came with Suryakumar’s name on it in Mumbai and Vizag.
Before last week’s ODI series against Australia, there was a big difference in Suryakumar’s batting numbers that stood out. Since his List A and T20 debuts 13 years ago, the Mumbai batter has played nearly twice as many games in the shorter format, 242 to 124, with 123 of them in the high-octane IPL. This difference in numbers is not lost on Dravid.
“One of the things about Surya is he is also learning the 50-over game a little bit. The T20 game is slightly different. Even though you hadn’t played for India for a long time, in T20 cricket, he played nearly 10 years of IPL – a tournament which is like international cricket.”
Suryakumar’s great T20 game has been built brick by brick from his experiences in the IPL, but he hasn’t had the same kind of steady progress in 50-over cricket. Suryakumar has played more Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is) than One-Day Internationals (ODIs) at the international level (48 to 22).
“He has played a lot of high-pressure T20 games but in one-day cricket, there’s no equivalent tournament in domestic cricket, you’ll have to play Vijay Hazare and all that. Even though he has played a lot of T20 cricket, I think he has not played a lot of one-day cricket. We just need to give him some time and be patient with him. We certainly see the upside of him doing well, which is very good for the side,” Dravid said.