ANI Photo | “My ODI numbers are really bad, no shame in admitting it”: Suryakumar Yadav

Following his side’s seven-wicket win over West Indies in the third T20I, Indian batter Suryakumar Yadav admitted that his ODI numbers are really bad and he is more used to T20I cricket, but it is up to him to improve and repay the faith shown in him by the management. 
Surykumar Yadav’s vintage performance with bat and Tilak Varma’s unbridled 49* kept India in the thick of the action as the Men in Blue clinched victory in the third ODI by 7 wickets at the Providence Stadium on Tuesday. 
“To be very honest, my one-day numbers are absolutely bad and there’s no shame in admitting that,” Suryakumar said after his match-winning knock in a press conference. ”
“We all talk about honesty and you have to be, but how you can improve is more important. Rohit (Sharma) and Rahul (Dravid) sir have told me that this is the format that I do not play much so you have to play it more and think about it. If you are batting in the last 10-15 overs, think about what you can do for the team. It is in my hand now how to change the responsibility into an opportunity,” Suryakumar added.
Suryakumar’s high-risk, 360-degree batting has won him a lot of acclaim and success in T20Is. In 51 T20Is and 49 innings, he has scored 1,780 runs at an average of 45.64 and a strike rate of 174.33. He has scored three centuries and 14 fifties in the format. He won the ‘ICC T20I Player of the Year’ award in 2022 for his performances and is also the number 1 batter worldwide in this format. 
But for Suryakumar, ‘SKY’ has not been the limit in ODIs. In 26 ODIs and 24 innings, he has managed just 511 runs at an average of 24.33, with two half-centuries.
Interestingly, Suryakumar got a solid start in ODI cricket. In his first six innings, he scored 261 runs at an average of 65.25, with two half-centuries. His last half-century was in February 2022 against West Indies. 
But since then, it has been downhill for the batter. In 18 innings that followed since his last fifty, he has scored just 250 runs at an average of 14.70, with the best score of 35. This also includes three successive golden ducks against Australia. 
The batter admitted that he feels more used to the T20I style of batting due to the fact that Men in Blue play this format a lot more in comparison to ODIs and he finds the 50-over format as challenging.
“We have been playing T20 format so much that I have gotten used to it. One-day is a format that I do not play much and I find it as the most challenging format. You have to bat differently – if a wicket falls early, you have to bat a little like in Test cricket, then in between you try to accelerate ball by ball and towards the end, you have to bring in the T20 approach. So I have been trying to apply what the team management has told me so far about the format. I try to take some time in ODI as per the time and then play my game towards the end. I will try to repay the faith,” he said. 
About his knock, he said that he did not do anything different, just batting like he has been for the last two years for India. 
“This was the same day as these last two years. I went out and expressed myself. Everything kept falling in place with the way I batted,” said Suryakumar. 
Talking about missing on a potential hundred, Suryakumar said that he does not care much about milestones. 
On Tilak Varma’s batting in the series, he said, “Tilak for his age, is showing amazing maturity. The way he batted is great. We have batted a lot of times for Mumbai Indians together. He has done the same there. All credit goes to him, he is a star. He is clear in his mind, he knows his game. He is very mentally strong, which is important for the Indian team.”
With this win, India has managed to keep the series alive by 2-1. There are two more games to go.
Electing to bat first, West Indies posted 159/5 in their 20 overs.
Kyle Mayers (25 in 20 balls, three fours and a six) and Brandon King (42 in 42 balls, five fours and a six) had a 50-run opening partnership. Following this, they lost wickets at regular intervals and were reduced to 123/5 at one point.
A quick-fire 40* in 19 balls, consisting of a four and three sixes by Rovman Powell helped WI to cross the 150-run mark.
Kuldeep Yadav (3/28) was the pick of the bowlers for India.
In the chase of 160, India was reduced to 34/2 after openers Yashasvi Jaiswal (1) and Shubman Gill (6) were dismissed cheaply. Then, Suryakumar and Tilak Varma held the innings together, carrying Men in Blue to the 100-run mark. Suryakmar was at his best, scoring 83 in 44 balls consisting of 10 fours and a six before being dismissed. Then it was Tilak (49* in 37 balls, four boundaries and a six) and Hardik Pandya (20* in 15 balls) who took India to a win.
Alzarri Joseph (2/25) was the pick of the bowlers for the Windies.
Suryakumar was the ‘Player of the Match’ for his half-century. (ANI)

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