Veteran India wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik believes Suryakumar Yadav playing in the ODIs is a "non-negotiable" while adding that he would like to see the right-handed batter being tried as a number six batter.
In both the ODIs between India and Australia, Suryakumar was trapped lbw by inswingers from left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc on the very first ball he faced in Mumbai and Visakhapatnam. In his last nine innings in ODIs, Suryakumar has made only 110 runs, with doubts being raised on whether he can replicate his T20I blitzkriegs in a 50-over format.
"He would have gotten out on those two deliveries even in T20Is. It is not that because it is ODIs, he is getting out. You have to understand that this is high-quality bowling irrespective of the format."
"He played the two ODIs now and prior to that he didn't play consistently. Shreyas Iyer was the preferred number four and rightfully so and Surya was the backup option. Where we need to be with Surya is to always remind ourselves of the talent he is," Karthik was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz.
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Karthik went on to suggest that he would like to see Suryakumar bat at six and give the number four slot to Hardik Pandya, with no clarity yet on the availability of Shreyas Iyer, who's battling a back injury.
"What I would like to see is if they can fit in Surya at a different place to get the best out of him. I personally feel Hardik Pandya enjoys batting really well and up top. So, is there a possibility of sending him at four and Surya at six? It is so because when you give him 15-18 overs, the way he is able to turn the game on its head is very, very good."
"Irrespective of whether there are five or four fielders inside the circle, he is able to hit boundaries at will and make a mockery out of the captain. The question is, whether India can make Hardik bat at four and Surya at six. Hardik really enjoys batting upfront; something which we saw with Gujarat Titans in IPL and even in T20Is."
"When you give Surya lesser overs, 14-18 overs, he is at his venomous best. It is something which team India and Rahul Dravid can ponder about. Him being a part of the ODI side is non-negotiable and has got the skillsets."
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With the series scoreline at 1-1, India and Australia will face off in the decider game at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Wednesday.