It was quite surprising to see Suryakumar Yadav walking out to open the bating for India with captain Rohit Shama in the first T20I against West Indies at the Brian Lara Stadium in Trinidad. It was expected that wicketkeeper batsman Rishabh Pant will open the innings as he did the same in India’s last T20I series against England.
Unfortunately, Suryakumar Yadav failed to take advantage of this golden opportunity and was dismissed for 24 off 16 balls in the first T20. In the IInd T20, SKY scored just 11 runs off 6 balls. He also opened in the third T20.
Indian management have been trying different combinations in the top order in their last few T20I series. Youngsters Ishan Kishan and Ruturaj Gaikwad opened in the five-match T20I home series against South Africa. After that Deepak Hooda and Sanju Samson were given a chance to open along with Kishan in the two Ireland T20Is. After the return of skipper Rohit Sharma against England, Pant was given the opportunity to open the innings with the captain.
Here’s what Rohit Sharma said on India experimenting different combinations at the top-order:
Rohit Sharma said the reason behind different opening combinations is that the team management want to ensure that the players get out of their comfort zones and are prepared to play in different positions in the T20I format.
“We want the guys to be able to bat anywhere, that is one thought. We don’t want guys batting in specific positions – T20 is a different format, guys should be flexible. At the same time, we want to keep in mind certain guys have specific roles and need to bat at specific positions.”