The Sunil Joshi-led Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) selection committee announced the 32-member India squad for the tour of Australia on Monday. The list did have some notable injury absentees in the form of Rohit Sharma and Ishant Sharma while Rishabh Pant was also dropped from the limited-overs squads. One name, however, that many fans, former cricketers and pundits were eager to see but couldn’t find was that of Suryakumar Yadav.
The Mumbai Indians batsman was backed by many to fetch a spot in the Indian team, at least in the shortest format following his consistency in domestic cricket and the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020. But the BCCI selection committee had other ideas.
Dilip Vengsarkar, former India cricketer, admitted being gobsmacked by Suryakumar’s omission as he labelled him as one of the most talented batsmen in the Indian circuit at present.
“I’m astounded at the omission of ‘Surya,’ who is currently one of the most talented batsmen in the country, from the teams selected for the Australian tour. As far as sheer potential is concerned, I can compare Surya with the best in the Indian team. He has scored runs consistently. I don’t know what else he has to do to merit a place in the Indian team,” Vengsarkar told the Times of India.
Vengsarkar even went on to compare Surya’s talent with the best players in the Indian cricket team as he asked BCCI president Sourav Ganguly to probe the right-handed batsman’s exclusion.
“A batsman is at his peak from the age of 26 to 34. and I feel Surya (30) is at the peak of his career. If form and fitness is not the criteria, then what is it? Can anybody explain?,” the former India chief selector asserted. “With Rohit (Sharma) out of the team due to (a hamstring) injury, Surya should have been there to strengthen the middle order. BCCI president Ganguly should question the motive behind dropping Surya,” he stressed.
With MI being one of the favourites to lift the title, Suryakumar would look to play a key role in helping the team defend the title and in the process, send out a strong message to the selectors who snubbed him.