May 18, 2024

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India’s three-match ODI series, starting with the first match on September 22 at Mohali, will be a litmus test for Shreyas Iyer and Suryakumar Yadav albeit for different reasons. The fitness of Shreyas will be watched closely, while Suryakumar will have to produce an impact innings to vindicate his inclusion in the World Cup squad. However, Shreyas’ progress will be more pressing from the management perspective. The middle-order batsman spent about half an hour at nets and then engaged in fielding drills for around 15 minutes, heightening hopes around him playing the Asia Cup final against Sri Lanka on Sunday.

But Iyer was not included in the playing 11. It might be an indication that the team think tank felt the need of giving him more time to recuperate from the back spasm that forced him to sit out of India’s Asia Cup Super Four match against Pakistan.

Iyer had made his much-anticipated return to international cricket during India’s Asia Cup league match against Pakistan at Pallekele, and he made 14 before getting out. He also played against Nepal but didn’t get chance to bat.

“It will be an important series for him as he needs to bat and field for the full duration of the match, something he has not done since his return. He has made a good recovery but maybe the team does not want to rush him.” “We have some more days for the Australia ODIs, and he can make proper recovery before that series,” a source following the development told PTI on conditions of anonymity.

Suryakumar offers a different case. The team management has placed a lot of faith in him to replicate his T20I explosiveness in ODIs. However, Suryakumar has not been able to live up to the expectations so far in the one-dayers.

The Mumbaikar failed to build on the start against Bangladesh in the Super Four match on Friday, making a 34-ball 26.

The manner of his dismissal too has not gone down well with the top brass, playing one too many sweep shots, a high-risk shot when the ball grips and turns.

The form KL Rahul and Ishan Kishan might console the think-tank, but Suryakumar needs to make an impression sooner rather than later to keep his ODI dreams afloat.

While the management might not be mulling any imminent changes to their World Cup squad at present, they have time till September 27 to rethink after weighing all options.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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