The in-form Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav "understand" that they will have to wait for their chances in the ODI format, India's batting coach Vikram Rathour said on Saturday. (More Cricket News)
Despite their exploits in T20Is in recent times, both players were not considered for the first two ODIs against Sri Lanka in the ongoing three-match series, leaving the fans and few former players surprised.
"They are not forced (to sit out), I mean, the others are doing good as well. As players they do understand that, and they need to wait for their opportunity, and they are preparing for that, they train hard and whenever that opportunity comes, they do well and hold on to their places," Rathour said.
While Surya is the world's number one batter in T20 batter and enjoying a prolific run in the shortest format, Ishan came into the Sri Lanka series on the back of his ODI double hundred in Bangladesh.
Asked if Ishan can be asked to bat in the middle order, Rathour said, "At the moment, he has been picked as an opener, but as a batting unit we are flexible and if there is a need to try somebody like Ishan in the middle order, we might have to. At the moment, though, he is being looked at as an opener."
When the discussion turned to Surya, the batting coach said, "He has great potential, he has been in great form, it is great to have him in the reserve, and hopefully, when the time comes, he will take that opportunity and do well for the team. It is great to have such versatile player in the team."
Regarding the ODI World Cup scheduled later in the year, Rathour said "20 games are enough" to zero in on the core group of players for the showpiece.
"I think, 20 games are enough, if we can shortlist the players, that the core we are focusing on. As team management, we do understand which are the players we are looking to focus on. If we have clarity, then I think 20 games are enough to work on those certain areas.
"We have always been a good 50 over format team, just some areas to fine-tune and 20 games are enough to do that."
HOW WILL YOU WORK WITH THE LOWER-ORDER BATTERS?
"They need to bat more in the nets, that is the thing we strive for, we make them bat more, the more they bat the better they become. We encourage them to keep batting at the nets even when they go and play for their states and IPL," Rathour said.
"That is what has been told to them. We want them to get better and if we can get more runs from the lower order, it will be great. That's an area we are looking to get better.
"Axar Patel has been batting well actually, he has always been a good player, we always believe he has a lot of potential in his batting as well and that is what he is showing lately.
"As a team, it gives us lots of options as far as playing all-rounders is concerned. We have three guys who can bat well, I am sure (Ravindra) Jadeja will be back soon, then we have Axar and Washington Sundar who can bat. It is great to have those options."
Coming back to the current rubber, he said the team requires improvements in certain areas.
"We have already won the series, but there are few areas where we want to get better, we are looking to improve. This being a World Cup year, there are still areas we are working on and this is one more opportunity to do that against a decent team."