Suryakumar Yadav, who occupies the No. 1 spot in the ICC T20I batting rankings, endured a torrid time in the just-concluded ODI series against Australia at home.
The dashing right-hander was dismissed for three consecutive golden ducks in the 50-over series, which Australia won 2-1. While Surya was trapped plumb in front of the wicket by left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc in the first two ODIs, left-arm spinner Ashton Agar cleaned him up with a quick delivery in the series decider.
With an unimpressive start to his ODI career, Yadav’s most recent failure has put him under scrutiny again.
On Thursday (March 23), Indian politician Shashi Tharoor cited Suryakumar’s poor record to question Sanju Samson’s omission from the ODI squad.
"Now that poor @surya_14kumar has set an unenviable world record w/ his three golden ducks in a row, is it unreasonable to ask why @IamSanjuSamson, averaging averaging 66 in ODIs despite batting at an unfamiliar position for him at 6, wasn't in the squad? What does he need to do?" Tharoor tweeted.
Meanwhile, India skipper Rohit Sharma backed the under-fire Suryakumar Yadav, stating that the latter is going through a bad phase.
"He only played three balls in three (games) this series. I don't know how much to look into it. He got three good balls, to be honest. Today, it wasn't that good ball; he should have gone forward. He knows best. He plays spin so well. We have seen that over last couple of years. That's why we held him back and give him that role for the last 15-20 overs where he can play his game, but it's really unfortunate he could only play three balls. That can happen to anyone. But the potential and ability is always there. He is just going through that phase right now," said Rohit in a press conference after the ODI series came to an end on March 22.