Aakash Chopra has opined that selectors might not currently be in a position to choose between Shreyas Iyer and Suryakumar Yadav for a middle-order spot in the Indian team for the T20 World Cup.
A 20-member Indian team is currently in Sri Lanka to play six limited-overs internationals(3 ODIs and 3 T20Is). While Suryakumar Yadav is part of the squad, Shreyas Iyer could not make it as he is still nursing an injury he sustained in the series against England.
In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra was asked by a fan to pick one out of Shreyas Iyer and Suryakumar Yadav as Team India’s middle-order batsman at the T20 World Cup. The former India opener responded that neither he nor the selectors might be able to choose between the two at this point in time.
“This is a very very tough question whom you will like to pick. I am not in a position at the moment and I don’t think even the selectors are in a position to take that call.”
Aakash Chopra added that the No.4 position might be the only spot left in the Indian team for either Shreyas Iyer or Suryakumar Yadav.
“If Rahul and Rohit open and Kohli plays at No.3, you play Hardik and Rishabh Pant at No.5 or No.6 or the other way around, then you have got Ravindra Jadeja followed by Washington Sundar. So, only one slot is left and that is No.4. So Shreyas or Suryakumar at No.4, it is a tough call.”
Team India might have two middle-order berths available if Virat Kohli opts to open, an indication he had given after the final T20I against England. Shreyas Iyer averaged 40.33 in the T20I series against England batting at various positions after a less impressive Australia tour where he didn’t get many opportunities.
In T20Is, with 250 runs in nine matches, Shreyas Iyer has an average of 50.00 when he has batted at the No.4 position in T20Is. Shreyas Iyer has played 29 T20Is scoring 550 runs averaging 28.95. His average at No. 5 or No. 6 is low.
Aakash Chopra: Shreyas Iyer Has Greater Experience, But Suryakumar Yadav Might Seal The No. 4 Slot If He Does Well In Sri Lanka
Aakash Chopra pointed out that more experienced batsman Shreyas Iyer might be preferred due to his greater experience at the international level.
“You will tilt towards Shreyas Iyer only because he has the greater experience, he has already performed well in the ODI team and is also the captain of his team. If he does well in the IPL, you might just go with him, to begin with.”
However, the 43-year-old added that Suryakumar Yadav might just seal the deal with excellent performances on the Sri Lanka tour and subsequently in the IPL 2021 2nd phase.
“But if Suryakumar Yadav does very well in the six matches now and the IPL also complements that, then you will have to go with Suryakumar Yadav. It’s a lovely dilemma. I can’t pick a player at this point in time because both are good and have the ability to play at better than run-a-ball and have the requisite experience of T20 cricket. So maybe just go by current form,” said Aakash Chopra.
Smashing a half-century on his T20I debut, Mumbai Indians in form batsman Suryakumar Yadav proved that he is here to stay. His sensational run for Mumbai Indians in the IPL earned him a spot in the England T20I series. With 512 runs in the 2018 season, followed by 424 runs in 2019 and 480 runs in 2020, the conversation around the Mumbai batsman shifted to the prospects of him doing the same for Men in Blue.
It took until the fourth T20I in the five-match series against England earlier this year for him to get a chance to bat in international cricket, where an instant impact was made. His 31-ball 57, consisting of six fours and three sixes, bore an uncanny resemblance to what he regularly pulled off for his IPL franchise. He did it again just two days later with a 17-ball 32 in the fifth T20I.
It is probably too premature to finalize India’s batting order at the T20 World Cup. The limited-overs series against Sri Lanka and the remainder of IPL 2021 could throw many players in the mix while ruling out some of the others.