IND vs AUS: Suryakumar Yadav exclusion raises eyebrows; support soars
Decision to not include in-form MI batsman Yadav for Australia tour questioned by cricket fraternity
Suryakumar Yadav has to deal with disappointment yet again after being overlooked by the national selectors despite being in top form in the last domestic season and the ongoing IPL.
The Mumbai batsman has been in blistering form for Mumbai Indians with 283 runs in 10 innings at a strike rate of 148.94. Yadav ended the Ranji Trophy season for Mumbai with 508 runs in five matches. He had the best average of 113 among Mumbai batters in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, scoring 226 runs in four innings. Yadav was the third highest run-getter in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament with 392 runs in 10 innings.
However, when Sunil Joshi, the new chairman of selectors, sat with his colleagues on Monday to pick the Indian team for four Tests, three ODIs and T20Is for the Australia tour, it was expected that Yadav would make the cut this time, but it wasn't the case.
Difficult for Surya: Manjrekar
India batsman-turned-commentator Sanjay Manjrekar said finding a berth for a new batsman in a jam-packed middle order is difficult. "Suryakumar is actually interesting because he has been in such brilliant batting form to be a part of the T20 or 50-over teams, but I don't think there is place now [for Yadav] with Shreyas Iyer doing well at the No. 4 position. Manish Pandey is also doing so well in T20s for India and also in the IPL. KL Rahul is likely to be the wicketkeeper-batsman option in T20s. So, there is actually no place for any new batsman to come in," Manjrekar told mid-day before the selection for Australia tour took place.
Former chairman of selectors MSK Prasad, whom Joshi succeeded, seconded Manjrekar's views. "I understand that Suryakumar has been performing very well and I feel he is very close to get picked in the Indian team, but tell me in whose place he should be picked? The guys in the middle order are doing very well. Sanju Samson has been picked for his twin roles as wicketkeeper and batsman," Prasad told mid-day.
Bhajji lashes out
Former India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh slammed the selectors for ignoring Yadav. "Don't know what else @surya_14kumar needs to do get picked in the team india.. he has been performing every ipl and Ranji season..different people different rules I guess @BCCI I request all the selectors to see his records," tweeted Harbhajan on Tuesday.
Bhajji had also come out in support of Yadav when the flamboyant batsman was not included for the Sri Lanka T20Is and Australia ODIs last December.
Mumbai's chief selector Milind Rege was shocked at Yadav's non-selection too. "Shocking that Surya can't find a place at least once after so many years of consistency...what's going on? He has been Mumbai's most consistent batsman for so many years now. It is important to know why the selectors don't feel he should be included in the Indian team when others are getting a look-in," Rege said.
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