Suryakumar Yadav displayed great character and personality as he reflected upon his underwhelming ODI career thus far with utmost honesty and transparency.
Surya has failed to make it count in the 50-over format even as he continues to rule the T20 circuit. For a player as talented as him, it has come across as a shocker that he has failed to replicate in ODIs the impact that he has made in T20 cricket.
With his six-hitting ability that is second to none in the current Indian setup, many believed that Surya could potentially be a revelation in ODIs and take the world by storm. Unfortunately for India, the swashbuckling batter had a string of disappointing returns after a flying start to his international career in the format.
Surya, who averaged over 65 after his sixth ODI and over 50 after his eighth, could not score more than 35 in any of the three ODIs in the ongoing West Indies tour. His scores in the three ODIs were 19, 24 and 35 respectively. Moreover, he struck at under 80 in the first game and under 100 in the second, proving that they were not quickfire cameos either.
In India's previous ODI series, the 32-year-old bagged three consecutive golden ducks against Australia as he abjectly returned to the pavilion each game without opening his account. Surya's last 50 in the format came all the way back in February 2022 against the West Indies.
Suryakumar Yadav comes clean on his ODI numbers
The batter admitted to the fact that he has not been up to the mark in ODI cricket post his splendid knock of 83 in India's 3rd T20I against West Indies, which earned him the Player of the Match award.
“If I am honest with myself, then I know that my ODI numbers are absolutely bad. And there is no shame in saying this because everyone knows. We always talk about honesty so it is very important for you to be honest, but how you can make it better is important,” Suryakumar Yadav said.
However, he said that the Indian management has shown him support, while also making his role very clear to him. His impeccable power hitting in the T20 format propelled the selectors to give him a go in ODI cricket.
But, with the two formats' demands differing in nature, the instructions to him from India skipper Rohit Sharma and head coach Rahul Dravid are to take some time and play about 45-50 deliveries in the ODI format, which one would think should be enough for a batter as destructive as him to inflict damage upon the opposition.
“Rohit and Rahul Sir have told me that this is a format you don't play much; you will have to practice this and think about what you can do. After taking some time, if you are batting in the last 10-15 overs, think about what you can do for the team. We just want you to go in, and play 45-50 balls, this is the team management's sign. They have given the signal,” Surya added.
He further clarified that his designated role, which is to play out a certain number of deliveries, has been communicated to him. It is no surprise that the Indian coach and skipper want him to face 50 deliveries or so in the last few overs, keeping in mind that his natural game is to play aggressive, attacking cricket.
“Now you play your game in one-day cricket according to yourself, but we want you to play 45-50 balls if your batting is coming in the last 15-18 overs. So now it is in my hands how I can change that responsibility into an opportunity and how I can bat according to the team's requirement,” concluded Suryakumar Yadav.