With vice-captain KL Rahul returning to the team, India have many options in the middle order, and indications are players with multiple skill-sets could be preferred over one-dimensional ones.
On being asked whether he considers himself a sixth-bowling option, Yadav said, “I bowl regularly in the nets. Whenever I get an opportunity, I will bowl. Whenever the team needs me, they can use me. I will always be available.” For the record, Yadav has 24 wickets to his name, including a four-wicket haul, in 77 first-class matches.
Asked about the challenges of batting at No. 5 for someone who has usually batted one-down for Mumbai in domestic competitions, he said, “It’s not too different. I’ve been batting at all the positions, and I’m really flexible. So, wherever the team management decides and wants me to bat, I’m flexible to bat at any position. Yes, I’ve batted at 3, 4 and 5, but I’m really happy with the way things are going right now.”
The Mumbaikar further said that he creates a lot of match simulations to remain match-ready when he is out of competition.
“Back home, I do a lot of nets sessions. I try and create some match simulations, do a lot of training,” he said. While India chased down the target of 177 with ease in the first ODI, they have often struggled to set targets batting first.
“When we bat first, we need to try and bat till the end to have that defendable score. The way we batted in the second innings in the last game was perfect. I think the tempo was nice. The intensity, the intent was good. There’s nothing to change. We just need to be safe, express ourselves.”
He laughed at being compared with Australian great Michael Bevan, who guided the team home in several tricky chases. “Let me remain Suryakumar Yadav. I don’t want to compare myself with anyone. I have hardly played five matches. The attempt will always be to win games for India at whichever position I bat,” he said.