Suryakumar: I am flexible to bat at any position

Ahead of Wednesday’s second ODI against the West Indies, India's Suryakumar Yadav hopes his team will keep the momentum going.

Suryakumar Yadav

India's Suryakumar Yadav bats during the first ODI against the West Indies in Ahmedabad on Sunday.   -  AP

Suryakumar Kumar believes the Indian team "almost ticked all the boxes" during the first ODI against the West Indies, which it won by six wickets. After spinners - Yuzvendra Chahal and Washington Sundar - put the Windies batters on the mat, Suryakumar, too, chipped in with an unbeaten 34 to guide the team home.

Ahead of Wednesday’s second ODI, Suryakumar hopes his team will keep the momentum going. “We almost ticked all the boxes. We will try and repeat the same. It is always a challenge to repeat what we do in the first game,” he said.

He also stressed on the fact he is open to bat at any position. “It is not too different (batting at No.5). I have been batting at all positions and I am really flexible. So, wherever the team management decides and wants me to bat, I am really flexible to bat at any position.

READ | Dhawan, Iyer cleared for training after COVID-19 recovery

“Yes, I have batted at three, four and five, but (I am) really happy with the way things are going right now,” the right-handed batter added.

After winning the toss, India asked the West Indies to bat in the first ODI. On a slow track, the visitor could not cross the 180-run mark. But Suryakumar feels if needed, batting first won’t be a challenge. The target will be to last for 50 overs.

“I think we have kept things really simple. We are going to bat the same way we did in the last game. It is just that when we bat first, we need to try and bat till the end to have a defensible score, but the way we batted in the second innings in the last game, I think it was perfect,” Suryakumar said.

“The tempo was nice, the intensity and the intent was really good, so there is nothing to change. We just need to express ourselves.”

Suryakumar hasn't had the opportunity to chip in as an all-rounder for the national team. But he is ready to have a go if an opportunity comes his way. “I can (contribute with the ball). Whenever I get an opportunity, I will bowl and have been regularly bowling in the nets. Whenever they feel, they can use me, I am always available.”

On comparisons with Bevan

Suryakumar, who has often been compared with Australia great Michael Bevan, said, “Let me be Suryakumar Yadav… I have just played 5-7 games for India. I will try to express (myself) and be fearless as I always am.”

ALSO READ | Siraj: Was asked to quit cricket and drive auto after 2019 IPL

Talking about his plans for red ball cricket, Suryakumar said: “I always loved playing red ball because that’s where everything started for me. When I played for Mumbai, everything started from the Ranji Trophy (sic). Whenever I am free, I have always gone back and played red ball cricket for my state or any local club team. I am really looking forward to playing Test cricket for India.”

Praise for U-19 World Cup winning team

Suryakumar also had a word of appreciation for the India U-19 team, which won the World Cup last week. He said, “It was really nice. I was watching the game (the final) till 2.30 in the morning, even though we had a game (the next day) because it was an exciting moment.

ALSO READ | The Hundred, WSL drive increase in women's sport viewers in Britain, says study

"I really want to congratulate each and every one, not only playing XI, but obviously who did not get an opportunity to play and full support staff. It wasn’t easy after the situation they were in, so there was a lot of character shown by the boys, coming back in the tournament and giving that performance. I think the whole nation is proud of them and it was a great achievement.”

For more updates, follow Sportstar on :