India men's cricket team head coach Rahul Dravid confirmed Suryakumar Yadav's inclusion in the playing eleven for the first two ODI matches against Australia. Dravid also confirmed the selection of returning veteran Ravichandran Ashwin and revealed the reason behind the decision to rest Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma for the opening two matches.
Suryakumar has failed to replicate his T20I heroics in the 50-over format with just 537 runs in 27 matches at an average of 24.40. He was also part of the winning team in the recent Asia Cup 2023 where he scored 26 runs off 34 balls against Bangladesh in the Super 4 round. However, speaking in the pre-match press conference ahead of the first ODI match in Mohali, Dravid revealed that the struggling batter has full backing from the management and will get more opportunities to show his worth in ODIs.
"We completely back Suryakumar Yadav," Dravid said. "We believe he will do well in ODI Cricket and turn things around in ODIs, and will be getting an opportunity in the First two ODIs against Australia."
Dravid also hinted at Ashwin's potential start in the Mohali game and said that the management is looking to give game time to the veteran spinner. Dravid also explained Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma's absence in the first two games and said the decision was taken after mutual discussion to keep both the star batters mentally and physically fresh for the ICC World Cup 2023.
"We know the quality of Ravi Ashwin and what he brings to the table. We always plan for any injury issues. So we want to give some game time to Ravi Ashwin in this ODI series against Australia. The decision to rest Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma was taken after mutual discussion and consultation as the team wants them to be fresh mentally and physically for the World Cup. Rohit Sharma is one of the greatest captains ever. It's unfortunate he never got the full-strength team. He got a decent team and he won the Asia Cup twice. Hopefully, we'll win the 2023 World Cup under Rohit," Dravid added
India team for Australia ODI series: Shubman Gill, Ishan Kishan (wk), Tilak Varma, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (c & wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Prasidh Krishna, Washington Sundar