Unlocking the Potential: Can T20 Powerhouses Adapt to the One-Day Format?

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Suryakumar Yadav’s ODI Dilemma: Bringing T20 Magic to the 50-Over Game


Suryakumar Yadav has been present in the Indian team’s dugout during the Asia Cup. He has often been seen having a conversation with Rohit Sharma, cracking a joke, rushing onto the field when the team needs him. In the match against Sri Lanka on Tuesday, he took two catches as well. But while these contributions are appreciated, at the start of 2023, the team would have been expecting him to stamp his presence in a different role by now.

Opportunity in the Asia Cup Final

With India having qualified for the Asia Cup final, the final Super4 game against Bangladesh could be an opportunity for India to give Suryakumar another run in the middle. An opportunity most would want to give him on the basis of what he so often does in T20 cricket but at the same time, an opportunity that may be denied to him simply because of what he hasn’t been able to do in ODIs.

The ODIs Conundrum

The crux of the issue is whether ODIs are an extension of T20 cricket or a curtailed version of Test cricket? It’s a question that has no clear answer. Not for India. Not for Suryakumar either.

Speeding Up ODIs

One thing that no one is confused about is that since T20s have come into the picture, ODIs have speeded up. Teams go past 350 a lot more than they used to and to get to that total, you need the big hitters… the six hitters. This has given bonafide T20 superstars — Suryakumar Yadav, Liam Livingstone and a few others — a shot at ODI World Cup glory. Even Tim David and Harry Brook are in contention to book their India ticket for the quadrennial tournament.

What the T20 Experts Bring to ODIs

  • Suryakumar, Livingstone, David, and Brook are expected to bring their T20 magic to the ODI stage.
  • They can be game-changers with their ability to hit big sixes and score quickly.
  • They have the potential to make the ODI World Cup immensely watchable.

The Middle Overs Disrupters

With 511 runs at an average of 24.33 in 26 matches, it’s fair to say, Yadav is yet to find the right ODI gear. India’s head coach Rahul Dravid recently admitted, Yadav was ‘still learning one day cricket’. Yet, he made India’s squad of 15. Why? Because the selectors and Dravid saw ‘the upside in him doing well’ in the middle-overs.

While Yadav’s breakthrough ODI innings is still awaited, England’s Livingstone has already played his. Last week, in a rain-curtailed 34-overs tie against New Zealand, England were staring down the barrel at 55/5. That’s when Livingstone’s powerful 95* lifted them to 226/7. He scored 34 runs in the first 39 balls he faced. In the next 39, he was able to muscle 61 more.

Elsewhere in South Africa, Tim David, the Singapore-born Australian isn’t finding the switch to the longer white-ball format all that easy. The power-hitter has left an impact in virtually every T20 league around the globe, but so far has only two below-par showings to show in his debut ODI series against South Africa. With some experienced Australian batters yet to recover from injuries, the selectors are staying invested in David’s potentially disruptive gameplay, two weeks before squads are finalized.

Cracking the ODI code has proved to be equally challenging for England’s bright batting hope Harry Brook. The 24-year-old announced himself in the most magnificent fashion possible in Test cricket with four hundreds in his first six Tests. In 186 T20s so far, his strike rate is 163.67. But, in 5 ODIs, Brook has been unable to make the England ODI spot his own. Following Ben Stokes’ return, Brook is fighting for a World Cup berth with Dawid Malan.


Weather it is Yadav’s ability to stroke freakish boundaries, Livingstone, David and Brook’s power-hitting, if picked, they promise to make the ODI World Cup immensely watchable. But let’s not forget, whatever is has already been. Back in the 90’s there was a trend to send pinch-hitters – batters like Javagal Srinath, Wasim Akram, Pat Symcox were promoted up the order with less premium on their wicket. But it would not be their primary skill. Now, a whole new crop of dynamic batters are being picked just to play a high-risk, high-reward game. As they say, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

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