During India’s last match against Australia in Indore, the focus switched from the triumph itself to the selection quandary that now confronts the Indian cricket squad only days before the start of the World Cup campaign on home soil. The bench strength stepped up to make a case for themselves in the Playing XI in the absence of major players like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, and Hardik Pandya.
Former India cricketer Harbhajan Singh praised standout batter Suryakumar Yadav, calling him the “ace of spades” in India’s World Cup lineup. Suryakumar’s name, according to Harbhajan, should be at the top of the squad sheet, setting the tone for the remainder of the roster.
The effort of Team India in the rain-affected second ODI against Australia was nothing short of amazing, ending in a commanding 99-run win on the DLS system. The euphoria, however, was overshadowed by the urgent need of finalising the middle-order slots, with four players contending for just two spots – Nos. 4 and 5.
Suryakumar Yadav, who has failed to reproduce his T20 batting excellence in the 50-over format, silenced his detractors with a stunning 72-run performance in the second ODI. Shreyas Iyer, who had been suffering from a back ailment, made a spectacular recovery by scoring a century in the same match. Meanwhile, Ishan Kishan and KL Rahul both showed good form, putting the team management in a pickle.
While without explicitly addressing the middle-order selection issue, Harbhajan strongly backed Suryakumar’s participation in the World Cup playing XI. Harbhajan Singh, speaking on his YouTube channel before of India’s last One-Day International against Australia in Rajkot, emphasised that Suryakumar’s name should be the first one written down on the squad sheet, with the others following suit.
“Surykaumar Yadav has to play all the matches. I don’t care whom he replaces, but his name should be taken first and then the rest. You have a player who is a pure match winner and can single-handedly make the game one-sided. He is the ace of spades. We have have been taking about a finisher…he is the one. He has to play at No. 5 for India,” Harbhajan said.
With the return of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, who were rested for the first two matches against Australia, fans will be watching India’s batting order in Rajkot to see whether Suryakumar’s star shines brightly in the forthcoming World Cup.
Finally, the great performances of Suryakumar Yadav and other strong batters have created a pleasant quandary for the Indian cricket squad. Suryakumar’s involvement in the playing XI looms huge as they prepare for the World Cup on home turf. Harbhajan Singh’s enthusiastic support for Suryakumar strengthens the case for his nomination.
Cricket fans will be watching the squad selection closely in the following matches, expecting to see Suryakumar Yadav’s extraordinary skill contribute to India’s World Cup campaign. Whether or not he earns a spot in the starting lineup, one thing is certain: Suryakumar Yadav’s climb to prominence is a tale that will enhance Indian cricket’s history.