'ODIs are two-and-a-half times the size of T20Is': Ravi Shastri's warning for Suryakumar Yadav
Former India coach Ravi Shastri pointed out that while there is nothing alarming to worry about Suryakumar Yadav's approach in ODIs, there are a couple of things the batter might want to improve.
Star India batter Suryakumar Yadav has been in such red-hot form this year that it is near unfathomable to see him fail even occasionally. The world's No. 1-ranked T20I batter and the leading T20I run-getter of the year has set the stage on fire like no other batsman. This year alone, Suryakumar has notched up two blistering centuries to go with several match-winning centuries. He was India's second-highest run-getter of the T20 World Cup and third on the overall list and some of the innings which he played – particularly against South Africa and Zimbabwe – were simply breathtaking.
From Australia, Surya carried his blazing form to New Zealand, where he lit up the Bay Oval Stadium in Mount Maunganui, Tauranga as he blasted 111 not out off 51 balls to give India a crushing victory of the hosts. But while Surya showed sizzling touch in T20Is, in ODIs, he couldn't quite get going. With scores of 4, 34 not out and 6, it is evident that SKY is still finding his feet in ODIs and may require a little more time to identify his groove. In fact, the unbeaten 34-run knock he played came when the match had been reduced to 29-over per side contest, highlighting that the moment the game switched even remotely to T20 format, Surya's blazing form returned.
It was a shame that rain has the final say in an otherwise entertaining series, where Surya could have put on an even more remarkable show, but after the ODIs ended with New Zealand winning it 1-0, former India coach Ravi Shastri made an interesting point. In Auckland and Christchurch, Suryakumar got out in identical manner – out caught behind. In the series opener in Auckland, Surya nicked Lockie Ferguson to Finn Allen in the slip cordon and edged Adam Milne to Suryakumar at the same position in Christchurch. Shastri pointed out that while there is nothing alarming to worry about Suryakumar's approach in ODIs, there are a couple of things the batter might want to improve.
"That can happen. But what he can learn is that this is two-and-a-half time the size of a T20 game. He has got that many more balls to play. He can wait that bit longer. His USP is total devastation towards the end of the innings. He has got ample time to reach 30-40 before that with a lot more number of balls. So, in his case, it's about giving himself that extra bit of time. That impact quality that is needed can wait a little bit because this game is a little bit longer. And then the conditions. At times, you might be in the best form of your life but you have got to respect the condition. This is a great game. It doesn't wait for anyone. You don't respect the conditions, sooner or later, you will come back to respect it," Shastri said exclusively on Prime Video.
Suryakumar has obviously played a lot more T20 than 50-overs, only 16 as compared to 42. Hence, it is imperative that he will only get better with time. But with another World Cup year approaching, in which SKY is expected to play a major role as India's designated No. 4 batter, he would be keen to expand into ODIs. Surya is not travelling to Bangladesh for the ODI series starting December 4, and Shastri believes during this time off, Surya will carefully study his ODI game and make the necessary adjustments.
"It's nothing major. It's just a change in the mindset of the length of the game and the number of deliveries he has got to play. When you play in the sub-continent, normally if he goes to bat, he will be doing it at No. 5 when the score would be nice and high more often than not. And then he can make an impact straightaway. In conditions that suit his batting, the bowlers don't have much on offer so you can change it. But here, adjustment needs to be made. And he would learn from it. He is a smart cricketer. We have seen that with the way he improvises so this is not difficult for him," added the former India coach.