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Surya should focus on defense as it comes handy when team is 2-3 wickets down, says Manjrekar


Bengaluru, Aug 28 (IANS) Ahead of the upcoming Asia Cup, former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar said middle-order batter Suryakumar Yadav should focus on his defensive tactics as it comes in handy when the team is two or three wickets down in a match.

Suryakumar, the top-ranked T20I batter, has played 26 ODIs and averages only 24.33 at a strike-rate of 101.38. The right-handed batter made scores of 19, 24 and 35 in the recent ODIs against the West Indies, and before that, he was dismissed for three consecutive first-ball ducks against Australia at home in March.

Despite K.L Rahul and Shreyas Iyer being included in India’s 17-man squad for the Asia Cup, Suryakumar was retained in the trip to Sri Lanka for the six-team event.

“Suryakumar Yadav is a very honest cricketer. A couple of things, firstly his return to ODIs where he got out thrice on the first delivery he faced against Australia.”

“If the same scenario comes up in future where two or three wickets are down and Suryakumar Yadav has to bat, then he should focus on his defensive tactics because sometimes in the 50-overs format, defensive tactics and preparation probably are handier for a batsman,” Manjrekar told Star Sports.

He added that Suryakumar also should focus on polishing his hitting shots along the ground.

“And as we witnessed, Virat Kohli is highly focused and practicing taking singles during the camp session. This 50-overs format is a less exciting format of cricket for me because 60-70 per cent of runs come by singles, doubles, and triples. It’s not a game of fours and sixes, where players need to focus and practice around it, and Suryakumar Yadav can manage it.”

“The other thing that Suryakumar Yadav possesses is in IPL or T20 cricket format he scores runs at a strike rate of 200. His number of fours is always higher than sixes. He is somebody who likes to hit along the ground. He likes to hit grounded shots and boundaries — fours and sixes but not just focusing on hitting sixes. Sky has the potential. It’s a matter of confidence and belief that he belongs here.”

India will open their campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan on September 2, before playing Nepal on September 4. Both of India’s Group A matches will be played at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium.

The top two sides from Groups A and B will progress to the Super Fours, where they will play three more games at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo, which will also host the final on September 17.


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