India vs West Indies: Suryakumar Yadav said Kieron Pollard, who is also his Mumbai Indians teammate, asked him why he wasn’t playing the flick shot in the air like he does in the IPL.
Suryakumar Yadav played a calm yet assertive innings to see India home in the first ODI against West Indies in Ahmedabad on Sunday. Suryakumar remained unbeaten on 34 off 36 balls as India chased down the 177-run target in 28 overs with six wickets in hand to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. After the match, Suryakumar revealed that there was a bit of a chat between him and West Indies captain Kieron Pollard when the former was batting in the middle. The right-handed batter said Pollard, who is also his Mumbai Indians teammate, asked him why he wasn’t playing the flick shot in the air like he does in the IPL.
“Pollard told me a few things. ‘Midwicket was open, why are you not flicking like you do in IPL’ but it was different here… I wanted to stay there till the end,” Suryakumar said in a chat with the official broadcasters. Interestingly, the right-hander was dismissed when he was looking good in India’s chase in the third ODI against South Africa which they lost by 4 runs. This time, however, Suryakumar made sure he stayed there till the end.
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India got off to a dream start courtesy captain Rohit Sharma and Ishan Kishan but once Alzarri Joseph got Rohit for 60 and then dismissed Virat Kohli (8) in the same over, there was a minor stutter. Ishan Kishan and Rishabh Pant’s dismissal in quick succession soon after meant India needed a good partnership to ease the nerves and that came when debutant Deepak Hooda joined Suryakumar in the middle.
The right-handers put together an unbeaten 62-run stand for the fifth wicket to take India home. Hooda played his part with an impressive 26* off 32 balls.
“I think things were really clear. I didn’t tell him [Hooda] anything. He has played domestic cricket for last seven years. It was important for him to stay till the end, and his confidence was spot on. I really liked it. I feel the track was almost the same as it was in the afternoon. But due to dew, it became slightly easier in the chase,” Suryakumar said about his partnership with Hooda.
India’s bowlers, especially the spinners – Yuzvendra Chahal and Washington Sundar – were on their mark. Chahal picked up 4 for 49 while Sundar on his return to the side ended up with 3 for 30.
“We want to keep getting better as a team and all in all it was a great effort from everyone. We spoke of what we wanted to achieve and we ticked all the boxes,” said Rohit after the match, which also marked the beginning of his journey as a full-time white-ball Indian skipper.