Batting legend VVS Laxman is hopeful that Suryakumar Yadav will be part of India’s playing XI for the entirety of their Sri Lanka tour that gets underway with an ODI series from July 13 in Colombo. India will take on the hosts in three ODIs and as many T20Is.
With several first-choice India cricketers in UK for the England Tests, the BCCI has given a chance to players on the fringes and newcomers for the limited-overs tour. With T20 World Cup to be played later this year, the Sri Lanka matches present a golden opportunity for these players to prove their credentials.
Laxman is especially impressed with Surya, who made his international debut earlier this year during the home series against England.
“I was excited seeing the way Suryakumar Yadav batted at No.3. His first scoring shot in international cricket, that too against a quality fast bowler like Jofra Archer, shows the kind of confidence, the talent and the skill he possesses - this is a great opportunity," Laxman said on Star Sports’ Game Plan.
“I want him to play all six matches – 3 ODIs & 3 T20Is – because he is someone who can definitely walk into the T20 World Cup squad, as far as I am concerned. I want him to grow and gain the confidence of scoring runs, even at the international level," he added.\
Laxman also talked about what his ideal playing XI for India will be during the ODI series. The legendart batter wants Prithvi Shaw to open with Shikhar Dhawan and wants Surya at No,3 followed by Sanju Samson and Manish Pandey.
“I will go with Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw (as opening batsmen). No.3 will be Suryakumar. No.4 will be Sanju Samson – in ODIs. No.5 will be Manish Pandey. No.6 will be Hardik Pandya. No.7 Will be Krunal Pandya," Laxman said.
He wants Bhuvneshwar Kumar to partner with Deepak Chahar in the pace department. “My two fast bowlers will be Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Deepak Chahar. And my two spinners will be Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal. This is my ODI XI," he said.
Laxman’s ODI XI for Sri Lanka series: Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Suryakumar Yadav, Sanju Samson, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal