While the main Indian contingent is in England for the final of the World Test Championship followed by a five-Test marquee series against England, the remaining players which comprise a mix of seasoned veterans and some white-ball specialists will embark on a limited overs’ tour of Sri Lanka in July. Amongst them will be Suryakumar Yadav who created quite a stir with his T20I debut against England at Ahmedabad in March this year and former India chief selector, MSK Prasad believes that the Mumbai Indians’ star would be the one to watch out for on the tour.
India are scheduled to play three T20Is and as many 50-over matches in Sri Lanka starting from the 13th of July and Prasad has backed Suryakumar Yadav to come good and stand out on the tour. Yadav has been a consistent run-getter for Mumbai Indians and scored heavily for them between 2018-20. His exploits with the franchise earned him a place in the Indian T20 side for the home series against England earlier this year. Yadav started with a bang hammering 57 off 31 deliveries in his first opportunity with the bat.
“Suryakumar Yadav is the guy to watch out for. Ishan and Sanju also have a great opportunity at hand," quoted Prasad.
He also showered heaps of praise for Avesh Khan - the Delhi Capitals’ fast bowler who bagged 14 wickets in the truncated IPL 2021 season in India. Prasad however said that it would be disappointing if Khan missed out on a chance to play for India in England as well as Sri Lanka. Khan is one of the standby players and has travelled to England along with the Indian contingent.
“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," stated Prasad.
Prasad then went on to admire the confidence in today’s generation and stated that is what differentiates them from the generations gone by.
“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. 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 then stuck his neck out and stated that the second-string Indian team was strong enough to beat the best of Sri Lanka in their own backyard.
“I won’t be surprised if this young squad wins the series in Sri Lanka,” predicted Prasad.