As India prepares for the ODI series against Australia, the spotlight remains on the World Cup squad, particularly on Suryakumar Yadav, whose recent performances have been under the microscope. However, head coach Rahul Dravid has expressed his unwavering support for the top-ranked batter in the MRF Tyres ICC Men’s T20I Batting Rankings.
Yadav’s Struggles in the Fifty-Overs’ Version
Despite his dominance in the T20I format, Yadav has struggled to replicate his success in the fifty-overs’ version. After 27 ODIs, he has managed to score only 537 runs, with an average of 24.41 and a top score of 64. His performance in the 2023 Asia Cup, where he only managed two fifties in 25 innings, has raised questions about his place in the World Cup squad.
Dravid’s Vote of Confidence
Despite the criticism, Dravid has stood by Yadav, expressing his belief in the middle-order batter’s abilities. “We’ve picked our team for the World Cup and Surya is in it,” Dravid asserted, suggesting that there will be no changes to India’s final World Cup 15, which teams have until 28 September to confirm.
Dravid further emphasized his support for Yadav, stating, “We back him because he’s got a certain quality and an ability that we have seen. Yes, I know we’ve seen it at the moment only in T20 cricket, but we know the kind of impact a player like him can make batting at six.”
Dravid expressed his hope that Yadav will use the upcoming ODIs against Australia to regain his form ahead of the World Cup.
Looking Ahead to the World Cup
With the World Cup looming, the team is focusing on getting players comfortable in the positions they will likely play in during the tournament. Dravid mentioned Ishan Kishan as an example of a player who could potentially fill a dual role.
Dravid also highlighted the importance of finding genuine all-rounders for the long-term success of the team. However, he noted that the introduction of two new balls in ODIs has made it more challenging for part-time bowlers, leading captains to prefer genuine batters or bowlers.
Despite these challenges, Dravid assured that the team is continuously working on improving their skills and finding the right balance for the team.