Suryakumar Yadav during his 50 v Oz at Mohali on Friday. Pic/PTI
Many may feel that the sky is the limit for Suryakumar Yadav. However, to achieve constant success one has to use one's talent judiciously. That's what Suryakumar has finally realised. Playing to the gallery has its pros and cons. Extravagant shots may fetch huge plaudits, but can also bring about your downfall.
This is what he has begun to realise. The way he built his innings when India were in a spot of bother chasing a target against Australia on Friday night, must have gladdened the hearts of the team management ahead of the World Cup. He eschewed risky strokes to begin with and concentrated on rotating the strike with stand-in captain KL Rahul. It was only in the latter part of his innings that he played his famous ramp shot and a flicked six to remind people the amazing range of strokes he possesses.
The problem with Suryakumar is that since he has won a lot of fame batting in his effervescent style in T20I cricket, being referred to as a 360-degree player a la AB de Villiers, he was getting branded as a T20 specialist, while trying to play in a similar way in the ODIs where he used to lose his wicket cheaply.
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Stats also prove, that he has had his major success in T20I. In 53 games, he has scored 1,841 runs at a healthy average of 46.02 with three centuries and 15 half-centuries. The standout is an amazing strike-rate of 172.70. This means he can usually get you a 50 in barely 29 balls and a century in 58 deliveries. On the other hand, in 28 ODIs he has just three half-centuries and a strike rate of 100.
Though Ravi Shastri has been constantly saying that Suryakumar ought to be played in all three formats as he can change the fortunes of a match in a matter of a few overs, it's easier said than done. As the length of an ODI innings is two-and-a-half times longer than in T20s, there is a need to be judicious while building an innings in a 50-over game. Hopefully, that's what Suryakumar has realised and showed it when up against the determined Aussie attack. Talking on the TV after collecting a cool 50 at almost run-a-ball, Suryakumar said, "That was what I was dreaming of when I started playing this format. Try and bat till the end as much as possible and finish the game for the team. I couldn't do that today but definitely, [I am] loving my new role."