'I was wondering what was happening. The colour of the ball is the same. The teams are the same. The bowlers are the same...'
Suryakumar Yadav experienced one of the toughest phases of his international career when he suffered three consecutive golden ducks during an ODI series against Australia.
However, the World No. 1 T20I batsman found his redemption against the same opposition a couple of months later. He secured his first fifty in the 50-over format since February 2022 during the opening match of a three-match series against Australia in Mohali on Friday.
While he had the support of the team management, it appeared that he couldn't quite crack the code for success in ODIs. In his only opportunity during the Asia Cup, Suryakumar looked uncertain as he was dismissed while attempting a sweep against Shakib Al Hasan.
However, on Friday, Suryakumar made a conscious decision to exclude the sweep shot from his arsenal and appeared more composed in the middle against the Australian bowlers, especially after they made quick inroads in Mohali. India's strong start of 142 for 0 had transformed into a challenging situation at 185 for 4 when stand-in captain KL Rahul and Suryakumar Yadav joined forces.
Suryakumar took his time at the beginning of his innings, recognising that the required run rate was well under control following a magnificent 142-run partnership between Shubman Gill and Ruturaj Gaikwad. The Mumbai Indians batsman showcased improved control and maturity with some elegant straight drives.
Suryakumar and KL Rahul both notched up fifties and combined for a 95-run partnership, guiding India to victory with five wickets and eight deliveries to spare and securing a 1-0 lead in the series.
Reflecting on his performance, Suryakumar Yadav stated, ‘I was wondering what was happening. The colour of the ball is the same. The teams are the same. The bowlers are the same. I think I was hurrying a bit. I thought, let's take a little more time, calm myself, take it slowly, and try to bat deep.’
SKY reached his fifty in just 47 balls but was dismissed in the 47th over. Although he fulfilled his role admirably, he regretted not being there at the end when India crossed the finish line.
He added, ‘That was what I was dreaming of when I started playing this format—trying to bat till the end as much as possible and finish the game for the team. I couldn't do that today, but I am definitely loving my new role.’