‘It Can Happen To Anyone’: Rohit Sharma Backs Suryakumar Yadav Despite Hattrick of Ducks

India’s Suryakumar Yadav walks back after his dismissal in the 3rd ODI of the series against Australia. (AFP)

While left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc was Suryakumar’s nemesis in the first two ODIs of the series, left-arm orthodox spinner Ashton Agar made him pay in the third ODI

Indian captain Rohit Sharma has strongly backed his beleaguered teammate Suryakumar Yadav after the 32-year-old batsman picked up a hat-trick of golden ducks in the ODI series against Australia. Talking to reporters following India’s 21 loss in Chennai on Wednesday, Rohit termed Suryakumar’s poor run of form as “unfortunate”, but refused to read too much into it.

“He played only three balls… I don’t know how much you could look into it. Today, I didn’t think it was that great a ball. He just chose a wrong shot. He should have maybe come forward. He knows the best. He plays spin so well. We have seen that over the last couple of years. That’s why we wanted to hold him back and give him that role of the last 15-20 overs where he could play his game,” Rohit said.

Also read – IND vs AUS, 3rd ODI: Suryakumar Bags 3rd Consecutive Golden Duck, Joins Sachin in Bizarre Record List

“It’s really unfortunate that he could only play three balls in the series. That can happen to anyone,” Rohit added.

Suryakumar has often been compared to South African legend AB De Villiers for his ability to play shots all around the wicket and has a far better record in T20Is, in which he already has three centuries, and has scored his runs at a strike rate of 175.76. His ODI record, however, has left a lot to be desired. He has only three double-digit scores in his last 11 ODI innings. His overall ODI record of 433 runs in 23 matches is poor for a player of his calibre.

In Chennai, Suryakumar failed to read the very first ball he faced after coming in to bat in the 36th over following the dismissal of Virat Kohli. He got a quickish delivery from the left-arm orthodox bowler Ashton Agar, which he chose to play off the back foot. The ball skidded off the pitch, beat Suryakumar’s defence and crashed into the stumps. Suryakumar was out on the first ball in the first two ODIs of the series as well, giving him a record that he would want to forget in a hurry.

Left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc was Suryakumar’s nemesis in the first two ODIs in Mumbai and Visakhapatnam, trapping the Indian batter in front of the stumps on both occasions.

Following the failure in Chennai, Suryakumar joined a list of Indians led, incredibly, by none other than the great Sachin Tendulkar, to score a hattrick of ODI ducks. Other than Suryakumar and Tendulkar, the others on the list – Anil Kumble, Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah – are all bowlers.

Also read – ‘Hasn’t Played a Lot of One-day Cricket’: Rahul Dravid Not Concerned by Suryakumar Yadav’s ODI Form

Suryakumar had got support from India coach Rahul Dravid as well. “Not really concerned about Surya. He got two very good balls. One of the things about Surya is that he is learning the 50-overs game. The T20 is slightly different. In T20, he has played 10 years of IPL,” Dravid said on Tuesday ahead of the Chennai ODI.

“He (Surya) has played a lot of T20 cricket. He has played a lot of high-pressure T20 games. Even though he has played a lot of T20 cricket I think he has not played a lot of one-day cricket. We need to give him some time and be patient with it. We certainly see the upside of him doing well,” Dravid added.

However, with the ICC World Cup only a few months away and calls for the inclusion of Sanju Samson in the India squad getting stronger by the day, it will be interesting to see how much longer the team management wants to persist with Suryakumar.

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