After two back-to-back losses, Team India finally took a sigh of relief after they registered a comfortable seven-wicket victory over West Indies in the third T20I of Tuesday. Trailing 1-2 in the five-match series, the Hardik Pandya-led side chased down the target of 160 in just 17.5 overs. The major contribution came from batter Suryakumar Yadav, who turned on his beast mode and smashed 83 runs off just 44 balls. It was a great moment for the Indian camp to see a brilliant innings from Surya as the batter had been struggling to get runs for quite some time now. In the recently concluded ODI series, Surya failed to leave a mark, which has put questions about his place in the squad for the upcoming ODI World Cup.
While skipper Rohit Sharma backed Suryakumar to find his form in ODIs, he also said India will have to see for how long they will keep backing the world No. 1 T20I batter, who has now been moved to No. 6.
“He is really working hard, and he is talking to a lot of guys who have played a lot of ODI cricket as to what kind of attitude and mindset (to have) like that. It is important to give a batter like him the cushion of extra games so that he finds that groove and gets that confidence. The way he started the IPL this year, in the first 4-5 games he did not have too many runs. But look what he did after that,” Rohit told PTI before also hinting how long the Indian team plans to persist with him in that role.
“For a player like him, it is our job to create such a situation and scenario – ‘It’s okay, if you don’t do well in 2-3 games we are okay, but when you come off, we know that you will win games straightaway’. That is what he did in the third T20I, the batters at the top got out and for Surya to go and bat like that… it is a different format. But we will also have to see how long we can stretch this (having Suryakumar at No. 4),” he added.
India will hope that batsmen will helm their march towards a series-levelling victory over the West Indies with another impact effort in the fourth T20 International at Lauderhill on Saturday.
India might have stayed afloat with a win in the third T20I but Windies still lead the series 2-1, a quick reminder to the fact that the visitors still have concerns surrounding the batting unit.