File image of Suryakumar Yadav© AFP
Team took on West Indies in a 3-match series, starting from Thursday in Bridgetown. The Rohit Sharma-led side came to this clash after clinching the two-match Test series 1-0, after the second match ended in a draw due to rain. The three ODIs are expected to be a great opportunity for Team India to test new combinations and prepare for the most-awaited ODI World Cup, which will be held in October this year. All eyes will be on star batter Suryakumar Yadav as he will now look to leave a mark in the 50-over format.
Suryakumar, who has not been able to replicate his superhuman T20 form in the ODIs, can stake a claim for the number four spot in the absence of injured Shreyas Iyer. Former India opener Wasim Jaffer stated that in order to improve Surya’s batting performance, he should bat at No 6.
“In my opinion, the best position for him in ODIs are No.5 and No.6. I would start with him at No.6 in the first ODI. Once he gets going there…because that’s how he plays in T20 cricket also, he bats at No.3 or No.4, but the overs are a little shorter,” Jaffer told.
“So, once he gets the hang of it in ODIs, I think No.4 is a little too early for him. If he starts scoring, then I would think of him moving up the order at No.5, or even further,” he added.
As Team India is missing out on the services of KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant, due to their respective injuries, Ishan Kishan and Sanju Samson have been included in the squad for the role of the wicketkeeper. According to Jaffer, it will be the Rajasthan Royals’ skipper who will be finding a place in the Playing XI for the ODIs against West Indies.
“It could be both of them (Ishan Kishan and Sanju Samson). That’s the test they are going to face up until the World Cup team is going to get selected. For Sanju Samson, I feel he might get the opportunity first in this series, and it’s huge games leading up to the World Cup for him,” said Jaffer.
“Because Ishan Kishan bats top of the order, they have got Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill there so Ishan Kishan might not get the opportunity as of now. Whoever gets the opportunity and whoever grabs that opportunity, I feel they will be picked up,” he added.