When the Indian team went out to bat in the first T20I against West Indies, one sight that took everyone by surprise was Suryakumar Yadav opening with Rohit Sharma. This was yet another example of the Indian team management constantly experimenting with the top order, which everyone was surprised to see. After the injury of KL Rahul, Rohit and Ishan Kishan opened for India and then against West Indies, Surya came out to open. Seeing this, former fielding coach of Team India R Sridhar was also surprised.
R Sridhar told that when he saw Suryakumar Yadav coming for the opening with Rohit Sharma, he was surprised and quickly checked whether Rishabh Pant was in the team or not? Speaking to cricket.com, R Sridhar said, “When I saw Suryakumar going out to open with Rohit, I was a little surprised by that move. I immediately checked if Rishabh Pant was playing the match. Or else he was playing. So obviously something is going on there that we don’t know about yet.”
He further said, “Something is happening inside the Indian change room that we are not aware of. Otherwise, I do not see this management breaking and changing the batting order so easily, because they support their players. And he is known for giving an opportunity to showcase his skills and prove his mettle. So when Suryakumar came in I was quite surprised.” Surya scored 24 runs in the first match, 11 runs in the second match and 76 runs in the third match when Rohit Sharma was injured.
Sridhar feels that the reason for Suryakumar to open could be that if KL Rahul recovers, then Surya will be the reserve opener. He said, “I don’t know why this change was made. I really don’t know. Maybe Rishabh didn’t want to open. Maybe India are looking at another opening option. Obviously, KL Rahul for this series. Had to go, but he couldn’t because of Covid. I’m pretty sure it could be a stop-gap arrangement, but like I said, maybe there’s something we don’t know.”