21st March, Mumbai: Middle-order batter Suryakumar Yadav registered back-to-back golden ducks against Australia in the absence of injured batter Shreyas Iyer. The former India selector has backed Iyer to reclaim the No.4 batting spot in India’s lineup at the ICC World Cup.
When Australia toured India for the three-match One Day International (ODI) series, top-ranked T20I batter Suryakumar Yadav was heavily tipped to cement his place in India’s world-class batting lineup. However, Suryakumar registered back-to-back ducks against Australia in the absence of injured batter Shreyas Iyer. Veteran Australian pacer Mitchell Starc handed the Indian batter two consecutive golden ducks in the first two games of the ODI series.
Even though Suryakumar has failed to open his account in the Australia series, Indian skipper Rohit Sharma still believes in the potential of the star batter. Sharing his views about Suryakumar’s contrasting performances in the limited-overs formats, former Indian selector Saba Karim explained why Rohit has handed the top-ranked batter a longer rope after his recent failures against Steve Smith’s Australia.
Speaking to India News Sports ahead of the 3rd ODI between India and Australia, the former Indian cricketer and ex-selector backed Iyer to reclaim the No.4 batting spot in India’s lineup at the ICC World Cup. “The team management sees Suryakumar Yadav as an option for Shreyas Iyer. I am sure that Iyer will return and be India’s No. 4 at the World Cup because he has done really well in that position. Suryakumar is a mystery at the moment. He is at the top in T20Is, how can he not score runs in ODIs? This is why I feel Rohit Sharma wants to give him a few more chances,” Karim said.
Suryakumar has failed to fire for Team India in his recent ODI outings. The premier batter previously registered a 50-plus score in February last year. Since February 2022, Suryakumar’s highest score is 34* (against New Zealand) in 16 games. The 32-year-old has played 22 ODIs for India. With an average of 25.47, the Mumbai Indians (MI) star has amassed 433 runs for India in the 50-over format.
Weighing in on the No.4 batter conundrum, Karim also observed that wicketkeeper-batter Sanju Samson can be considered as an option. Former India opener Wasim Jaffer had recently backed Samson to replace Suryakumar in the Indian middle order amid the Australia series. “What other options do we have for the No.4 spot? Sarfaraz Ahmed and Rajat Patidar come to mind, but they are both injured at the moment. We can consider Sanju Samson as an option. It is very important to have a few options ready. But we don’t know if he is fit or not,” Karim added.