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Asia Cup 2023 is SKY’s litmus test in ODI format

Asia Cup 2023: Suryakumar Yadav averages 24.33 from 24 innings in ODIs, will he make a comeback in this format? Why Suryakumar Yadav is important for India in the middle order?

Asia Cup 2023 will be a litmus test for Suryakumar Yadav | Walking Wicket (Images_ ©CricCrazyJohns_Twitter)
Surya averages 24.33 from 24 innings in ODI (Images: ©CricCrazyJohns/Twitter)

Suryakumar Yadav can be listed alongside the best of the best when it comes to the T20I format. He is the No.1 ranked T20I batter in the world as he averages 46 at a mind-blowing strike rate of over 172, and all this has come in just 50 innings in which he has scored a total of 1841 runs so far.

These numbers are really insane and his consistency in the format is awe-inspiring, as no other cricketer has maintained this kind of record in the brief history of this format.

Suryakumar Yadav's slump in ODI format

Though his T20 record for India has been great, the same cannot be said for his ODI stats. The right-hander averages a paltry 24.33 in the 24 innings he has played thus far for India, with just two half-centuries to his name.

He was sent in at most of the slots in the batting order, thanks to the absence of ODI regulars like Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul for a considerable period of time. But his transition from a T20I superstar for India to an ODI player has not been that great. He has struggled to adjust to the demands and complexities of ODI cricket, where a batter needs to have the concentration required for Tests and at the same time have an attacking game which is needed in the T20I format.

SKY does possess the temperament that is needed for T20s, but it is the initial phase of his innings where he has been found wanting. If we take a look at the home series against Australia, Surya bagged 3 ducks in a row and all of this was the result of a lack of sound ODI game awareness.

By his own admission, Surya feels he has underperformed in ODIs - despite getting regular chances compared to some of the other players. He is yet to settle upon the approach he needs to take to be as successful in ODIs as he is in the shortest format of the game.

In a recent interview, SKY revealed that he has been concentrating on improving his ODI game and he has been in constant talks with seniors like Virat Kohli and skipper Rohit Sharma and coach Rahul Dravid to sort out his shortcomings. These three have been enormously successful for India in all formats and in they have found out a way to transition between the formats.

SKY has revealed that his role in ODIs is to be an enforcer in the latter part of the innings. He is also aware that and is working on the game to be prepared if he were to come in to bat in the initial phase, on account of wickets falling early in the innings.

What impact can Suryakumar Yadav have for India in ODI cricket?

Everyone is fully aware of Suryakumar's capabilities and what he can do in the T20I format. His struggle in the ODI format is also in public knowledge, but yet the team management is putting their trust on him to the hilt by selecting him for the Asia Cup. It is important to note that Surya has been placed ahead of even Sanju Samson, who missed the bus despite boasting of a good record in the format.

He is in the fray to play against Pakistan in India’s tournament opener in Asia Cup in place of a recovering KL Rahul. Though Surya hasn’t been guaranteed a place in the Indian World Cup squad, the 32-year-old has a great chance to succeed in the Asia Cup and increase his bragging rights.

Surya has a panache and the ability to make the match turn in the blink of an eye, also there’s little doubt over his match-winning ability when he clicks. Whether he has the temperament to make it possible in the ODI format is a different story altogether, but the team management has backed the middle-order batsman in the format and it is his time to repay them for the faith shown in him.

It is a known fact that India v Pakistan encounters always lead to the emergence of superstars. SKY has every imaginable weapon in his arsenal to become one, and the Asia Cup 2023 fixture on September 2 will be the biggest chance for him to prove his fans right.

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