India vs Australia: Shreyas Iyer and Suryakumar Yadav face crucial tests in the 1st ODI at Mohali
As India takes on Australia in a three-game ODI series, all eyes are on Suryakumar Yadav and Shreyas Iyer, who are battling their own challenges ahead of the World Cup. Iyer's match fitness and Iyer's quest to improve his ODI record add this will be serving as a final dress rehearsal for the upcoming ODI World Cup.
The upcoming three-game series against Australia holds significant importance as it provides the perfect platform for Suryakumar Yadav and Shreyas Iyer to test themselves before the World Cup next month. While Shreyas Iyer's match fitness remains a concern after a recent surgery and a stiff back, Suryakumar Yadav is aiming to improve his ODI record. With key players like Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli rested for the initial games, head coach Rahul Dravid has a final opportunity to evaluate the team's depth.
Iyer, aged 28, has been dealing with limited cricket action in the past six months due to a stress fracture surgery and fitness questions. While chairman of selectors Ajit Agarkar has given the green light for Iyer to participate in the three matches, the real test will be whether his body can endure the demands of a 100-over game across five days. His proficiency in handling spin bowling during the World Cup will be crucial.
Suryakumar, known as 'SKY,' has shone in T20Is, but he faces the challenge of finding his role in ODI cricket. With 27 ODIs under his belt and an average of less than 25, he seeks to prove his talent and capabilities. While he may not start in the playing XI during the World Cup, he aims to convince the team management of their selection choice. Competition from young talents like Tilak Varma keeps him on his toes, and at 33, he understands that this might be his last opportunity in a 50-over World Cup.