Suryakumar Yadav comes good at the crunch

Surya & KL
Suryakumar Yadav is congratulated by K L Rahul on scoring his fifty. Photo: AFP/Arun Sankar

More than the five-wicket win over Australia in the first One-Day International (ODI), the Indian team management would have been delighted with the way Suyakumar Yadav came good in a challenging situation. India needed 92 off 105 balls when Surya walked in to join acting-captain K L Rahul in the middle. 

The middle-order batter had fallen for three consecutive first-ball ducks against the same opposition earlier in the year.

However, this time around Surya made it a point to play straight. He decided not to employ the sweep shot which led to his downfall against Bangladesh in his last outing in the recent Asia Cup.

Surya was happy to rotate the strike and pick up the occasional boundary. 

The Mumbaikar brought up his fifty off 47 balls. The right-hander, a destructive player in T20 cricket, was the dominant partner in the 80-run fifth-wicket stand with his contribution being 50.  

By the time he departed, India were well on the way to victory.

Surya producing a valuable knock in a crunch situation is a big plus for India ahead of the World Cup. The 30-year-old is a live wire on the field. He was alert to run out the dangerous Cameron Green earlier in the Australian innings.

Also Surya had proved his worth by taking a fine catch to dismiss Sri Lanka's Maheesh Theekshana while coming on as a substitute at a crucial stage in a Super Four match of the Asia Cup.

He is expected to play a vital role in India's World Cup campaign, especially with Shreyas Iyer struggling for fitness and game time.  

The key now for Surya to continue the good work in the remaining two ODIs against the Aussies.

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