Former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir has questioned Virat Kohli’s decision of dropping Suryakumar Yadav from the playing eleven in the third T20I against England on Tuesday (March 16).
Suryakumar and Ishan Kishan made their international debut during the second T20I of the five-match series. And seeing Suryakumar being dropped for the third T20I despite not getting the chance to bat in the second match, Gambhir has slammed captain Kohli for his selection process.
Speaking to ESPNcricinfo, Gambhir advised the Indian team-management to “at least look at someone” who is in the T20 World Cup plans. The ex-India opener has also urged Kohli to give Suryakumar at least three-four games before dropping him from the team.
“It amazes me, seven months before the World Cup he [Kohli] starts preparing for World Cup and probably after the World Cup he will start preparing for the next World Cup. It really doesn’t matter, the kind of form you are in matters. Imagine if there is an injury issue, what have you seen of Suryakumar Yadav, what have you seen of Suryakumar Yadav in international cricket. I hope nobody gets injured but if there is an injury case and somebody needs to bat at number 4 and number 5. For example, there has to be a replacement for Shreyas Iyer, who are you gonna go for,” said Gambhir.
“So at least look at someone whom you have got into the setup. Probably give him that ‘opportunity in three or four games and see where he stands. If he delivers, you have got a backup for someone already batting at number four. If you get someone, play him in that series and see what he is giving in the future. We keep talking about preparations but this is just no preparation for the World Cup. It’s just about looking at the same players what you have seen for so many years,” the 39-year-old added.
Suryakumar seems to be in direct competition with Shreyas Iyer for the number 5 spot in the team. After smashing a 48-ball 67 in the first T20I, Iyer scored 8 not-out and 9 in the second and the third game at Ahmedabad, respectively.
After India’s embarrassing defeat in the 3rd T20I, it looks like Suryakumar would be benched for at least one more match in the ongoing series.