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India's Suryakumar Yadav looks dejected as he walks off the pitch after being caught out by Pakistan's Mohammad Amir on Sunday. Image Credit: Reuters

Dubai: Suryakumar Yadav faces immense pressure to live up to his own expectations. As the world’s No. 1 Twenty20 batter, he has been under increasing scrutiny since his lacklustre performance in the 50-over World Cup in India last year.

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What’s intriguing is how a player with a track record of centuries and double centuries for the Mumbai Cricket Association in the Ranji Trophy — a domestic league that exposes players to three, four, or five-day formats — could struggle in longer formats. The issue isn’t his skills; it’s more about temperament and confidence.

Miserable run extends

However, in T20 cricket, Yadav is a 360-degree player who rarely puts a foot wrong. His ability to score runs at will, especially when batting down the order, sets him apart. Unfortunately, an injury in December last year during South Africa’s tour has added to his challenges.

Yadav’s performances in the T20 World Cup have been disappointing, extending his miserable run at home. Some cricket experts even label him a “minnow basher”. But is it fair to question the place of someone who has consistently performed over the last couple of years?

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Suryakumar Yadav couldn't capitalise on his start against Pakistan. Image Credit: AFP

Real headache

His track record in ICC events isn’t stellar. Yet, his displays in the shortest format is very good, boasting an average of 43.87 and a strike rate of over 170. Yadav’s presence gives rivals a real headache. With talents like Sanju Samson and Yashasvi Jaiswal waiting in the wings, Indian team management faces a dilemma when performances don’t match reputation. But Yadav deserves more chances and support to allow him emerge from this lean patch.

Past performances matter, but they can’t be the sole yardstick for someone returning from injury. Remember, Indian talisman Virat Kohli faced a similar situation a couple of years ago, and with the right backing, he’s now back to his best.

Knee-jerk reactions won’t boost team morale; patience is key. Given Yadav’s success rate, expect him to find his groove in the upcoming matches before India enters the Super 8.