Suryakumar set to make debut as India eye series win

Pune, Mar 25 (PTI): The immensely talented Suryakumar Yadav is likely to get a chance to showcase his ‘360 degree’ hitting skills when a rampaging Indian team takes on a rather clueless England, aiming to seal off another series victory in the second ODI here on Friday.
Shreyas Iyer’s dislocated shoulder has once again brought Yadav in focus and his ODI debut, after a blockbuster T20 first outing, looks imminent after an all-round show by the hosts ensured an easy victory in the first game.
Iyer has been one of India’s most prolific 50-over batsman before the COVID-19 enforced lockdown but such is the team’s strength that a debutant looks more formidable for a world champion opposition, who are no less menacing but seem utterly confused at this point. Being spoilt for choices is always a good headache to have for the think-tank and skipper Virat Kohli will be more pleased than anyone else.
Kohli has not had Ravindra Jadeja’s services for close to three months but neither Axar Patel in Tests, and now Krunal Pandya in the ODIs, have let the team miss their maverick from Rajkot.
Prasidh Krishna, already a household name due to IPL, looked completely at home on his ODI debut, hurrying batsmen for pace in the absence of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami.
And come to think of it, once Jadeja and Bumrah are back, a Krunal or Krishna will either cool their heels in the dug-out or even worse, not find a place in the squad, which is a testimony to India’s unimaginable depth of talent pool.
The biggest positive during the opening game was Shikhar Dhawan’s return to form with a match-winning 98. He was under pressure after being benched for a large part of the T20 series. The elegant southpaw would be raring to go one more time.
Rohit Sharma had sustained a blow to his elbow during the first match but is expected to be fit in time for the second game.
In case India want to give Rohit a short break, then Shubman Gill can open alongside Dhawan with KL Rahul coming in at his usual middle order slot. Meanwhile, England will look to level the series and stay alive in the contest. England have a lot to ponder on and injuries to skipper Eoin Morgan and batsman Sam Billings, while fielding, in the lung-opener have only added to their woes. Both appear doubtful for the second game.
Bairstow was among the runs as he blazed to 94 off 64 balls as was his partner Roy (46).
The two would be looking to put up another fine show and carry forward the aggressive brand of cricket, which was the cornerstone of the 2019 World Cup triumph.
However, their middle order hasn’t performed up to its potential and the likes of all-rounder Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler and Moeen Ali faltered with the bat. If England have to put a big total or chase a score, the trio needs to fire in unison.

Related Articles

Back to top button