Former India national chief selector MSK Prasad has backed Suryakumar Yadav to make the best use of the limited-overs tour in Sri Lanka and feels that the MI star would be the player to look out for. Suryakumar made his international debut for India against England in the T20Is back in February.
In May, BCCI announced that India will fly to Sri Lanka in July to play 3 One Day Internationals and as many T20Is, with the contigent set to comprise only white-ball specialists. However, while the board is yet to name a squad for the tour, senior players like Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma being engaged in red-ball duty till September 10 means that a host of IPL stars are bound to get a chance to shine.
MSK Prasad, who led the selection committee between 2016-2020, reckoned the Sri Lanka tour will bring great opportunity for players like Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan and Sanju Samson. Both Suryakumar and Kishan made their international debuts back in February against England in T20Is and exceeded expectations, starting brightly by notching up fifties in their debut innings. Prasad, in particular, is keen on Suryakumar Yadav’s ability and feels that the right-hander will be the player to watch out for.
“Suryakumar Yadav is the guy to watch out for. Ishan and Sanju also have a great opportunity at hand. I would have also loved to see Avesh Khan (named standby for the UK tour). He has been excellent in the IPL, and it would be unfortunate to see him miss out on playing in either series,” Prasad told Sportstar.
Of late, there has been an influx of debutants who have done well for India, and Prasad opined that the modern-day players are high on confidence in contrast to the players of his time. Suryakumar Yadav could be the best example, as Prasad mentioned, as he started his career by launching England pacer Jofra Archer for a six over fine leg.
“The skill level back then was similar to what we have now. But the confidence levels of the boys today are five times more than what we had then,” Prasad reflected.
“Simple example: first ball, Suryakumar Yadav, gets an opportunity to play in a T20I game, smashes one of the best bowlers in the world for a six. Or Ishan Kishan, the way he blasted the opposition (England) on debut.”
Prasad further credited National Cricket Academy (NCA) Director of Operations Rahul Dravid for grooming and shaping the young generation of Indian cricket and preparing them for future challenges. Under Dravid, India won the 2018 ICC U-19 World Cup and have seen many youngsters like Prithvi Shaw, Shubman Gill, Rishabh Pant, and Mohammed Siraj contribute effectively in the Indian colors.
“Credit to Rahul as well. He is the best person at that level and has moulded the youngsters perfectly. Our duty was to give him the right players, and he has managed to do the rest.”