'Only two people?': Suryakumar Yadav stunned by record low turnout before captaincy debut in India vs Australia T20Is
Only two reporters showed up for Suryakumar Yadav's pre-match press conference ahead of the India vs Australia 1st T20I at Visakhapatnam.
World Cup fatigue is real. Not only for the players and support staff involved but also for the ones covering and watching it. Turning up for a bilateral series three days after an energy-sapping World Cup final was never going to be easy for the players and fans and as it turns out, it is equally difficult for even the journalists. Only two reporters showed up for India's pre-match press conference ahead of their series-opening T20I against Australia at Visakhapatnam. There are no official figures but this is as low as gets for a men's Indian cricket team match at home as far as recent memory goes.
A press conference with Australia's captain for this series, Matthew Wade, was also scheduled for Wednesday afternoon but it appears that it did not take place. Whether it was due to a lack of journalists, however, was not confirmed.
"Only two people?" said India's captain for the five-match T20I series, Suryakumar Yadav with a big smile before wrapping up the four-minute-long press meet on Wednesday. You could sense the amazement in his laughter. Indian cricketers are used to long press conferences and multiple questions - some discomforting and annoying too. The BCCI media manager is quite often at a fix and has to apply rotation to allow equal opportunities to all the covering journalists during a home series. Most of the time, even that is not enough as many are left with their questions unanswered often. But not on Wednesday.
The two reporters - in all likelihood from news agencies PTI and ANI - took turns to ask multiple questions to Suryakumar. From Surya's expressions, one got the feeling that he was prepared to answer some more but the reporters almost ran out of queries. This is unthinkable in recent times.
During the World Cup, India's every press conference attracted more than 100 journalists at ease. In some cases, like the semi-final and final, the number crossed 200. The applicants were even more. This is quite natural for ICC events as reporters from different parts of the world also travel to the venues to cover their respective teams. But such is the case for cricket in India that even bilateral attracts huge media attention.
But as things stand now, the barely three-day gap between the World Cup final and the first IND vs AUS T20I appears to be too short a time to build momentum. The fact that the same two sides competed for the World Cup title barely 96 hours ago, albeit with different sets of players, also adds to the unbelievable factor. India's heartbreaking loss in the final is still fresh.
‘It will take time’: Suryakumar Yadav on getting over World Cup loss
Surya, who could have done more in India's near-perfect campaign in the World Cup, was expectedly asked about the ill-fated Sunday night on the eve of the T20 series opener. "It is difficult it will take time, it can't be that you wake up next morning and you forget everything what happened. It was a long tournament. We would have loved to win it," said Surya, who will lead the side in Hardik Pandya's absence.
"But as you get up in the morning the sun rises again, there is light at the end of the tunnel. You have to move on. It is a fresh team (T20 squad), really looking forward to the challenge."Surya said support from the fans and families is helping him and the rest of the players to move on from the disappointment."Obviously, a little disappointing but when you look back at the journey it was a great campaign. All of India and our families were proud of the way everyone displayed their talent on the ground.
"We played a positive brand of cricket throughout the tournament. We can be very proud of that," said the aggressive batter.
Surya, Ishan Kishan and Prasidh Krishna are the only members of India's World Cup squad who have been selected for this series. The others have been given a break. Shreyas Iyer will join the squad after the third T20I.
The same, however, is not the case with world champions Australia. They have the likes of Travis Head, Glenn Maxwell, Steve Smith, Marcus Stoinis, Sean Abbott, Adam Zampa and Josh Inglis will feature in this series. David Warner was also named in the squad initially but the opener withdrew citing fatigue and was replaced by Aaron Hardie in the squad.
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