Kapil Dev dismissed the suggestions of individuals who favored Sanju Samson over Suryakumar Yadav in the ODI starting lineup. Suryakumar Yadav has unfortunately made a rare record by getting out on a golden duck in three successive matches, which has gone down in history.
Many people have raised doubts about Suryakumar Yadav’s position in the ODI team. Despite his exceptional performance in the shortest format of the game, he has not been able to replicate that kind of form in the 50-over game.
After Shreyas Iyer was sidelined due to a back injury, the right-handed batter played in all three matches against Australia. Despite recovering from a knee injury he sustained in January 2023, Sanju Samson was not chosen as a replacement player, much to the surprise of the selection committee.
Kapil Dev on Suryakumar Yadav
According to Kapil Dev, Suryakumar Yadav deserves more opportunities as he has already proven himself.
“A cricketer who has played so well will always get more chances. Don’t compare Surya with Sanju Samson, it doesn’t seem right. If Sanju goes through a bad phase then you will talk about somebody else. This should not happen. If the team management has decided to back Suryakumar Yadav then he should be given more chances. Yes, people will talk, give their opinion but ultimately it’s the management’s call,” Kapil Dev said.
In 2023, Suryakumar Yadav has played in six ODI innings and has only scored 49 runs, with an average of 8.17 and a strike rate of 116.67.
In the third ODI in Chennai, KL Rahul was promoted to the No.4 position during the run chase, while Suryakumar Yadav was pushed down to No.7. All-rounder Axar Patel was even sent in before him, presumably to counter the leg spinner and left-arm spin. Suryakumar Yadav’s first appearance at No.7 was not a good one, as he was dismissed by Ashton Agar, worsening India’s chances of winning the match.
Kapil Dev said that the decision to move Suryakumar Yadav down the batting order was made by the captain and coach with the intention of developing him as a finisher in the ODI format.
“It’s very easy to talk after the match is finished. Maybe the idea behind sending Suryakumar at No.7 was to give him an opportunity as a finisher. This (shuffling of the batting order) is nothing new in ODIs. This has happened many times before. Yes, at times it can happen that a batter’s confidence is dented if he has been dragged down the order. But the onus rests on the player to tell his captain that ‘I can handle myself in the top order.’ The coach and captain must have taken the decision with particular thinking,” he said.
Although the captain and coach have supported Suryakumar Yadav despite his recent lack of form, he will need to contribute with runs if he hopes to secure his spot in the 2023 ODI World Cup team.