Indian batsman Suryakumar Yadav said he would be looking to "start from the scratch" in the upcoming limited-overs assignment against Sri Lanka. The flamboyant right-hander from Mumbai made his much-awaited international debut in the home series against England in March.
The 30-year-old slammed scores of 57 and 32 in his two T20I innings and impressed everyone with his strokeplay. Suryakumar, who has been a consistent performer for Mumbai Indians in the IPL, is now part of the Shikhar Dhawan-led Indian side which will take on Sri Lanka in three ODIs (starting July 13) and as many T20Is.
"Pressure will be there, because if there is no pressure, there is no fun, so as I said, it will be a great challenge and I am really looking forward to it. I think, that (debut series against England) was a completely different challenge and every time you come, I mean for a batter, every time you go in or play a different game, you start from scratch," he said in a virtual press conference.
"So, this (tour) also I have to start from zero and that was a different series and this is a different series, but the challenge remains the same, I have to go out in the park and perform the same way, what I did.
"We have played in these conditions before like for example, we play in Mumbai, we play in Chennai, where the humidity is high. Most importantly, we have come here 15-20 days before the tournament, so think it’ll be good."
Suryakumar said that he would be working with head coach Rahul Dravid for the first time. "It is a great opportunity for everyone, having a tour amid this situation, it is a great challenge and responsibility for each and everyone to come out here and express themselves.
"And the great thing is having Rahul (Dravid) sir around, I have heard a lot about him. I think this is my first tour with him but I have heard a lot from many players that he is very calm and composed when it comes to this role."
Suryakumar also said that his job with the national side is the same as it is for his IPL franchise Mumbai Indians. "I think I have been doing the same thing for my franchise back in the IPL. When I made my debut, the same happened, I did not do anything different, it was all the same.
"I have been enjoying that role really well in whatever position they send me to bat, I will be the same. I just go out and express the same way on how I do in every game and I really enjoy it."
He also revealed that all-rounder Hardik Pandya bowled in the intra-squad game and in the nets. Pandya's bowling has been severely restricted by his fitness issues in the past few months.
"He (Hardik) did bowl in the England series. During the IPL, he did not bowl. He bowled in the intra-squad game and he bowled in the nets. So, it is his and the team management's call on how they want to go about it, but yes, he is bowling. That's a very good sign."
Talking about the 1996 World Cup-winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga’s ‘second-string side’ comment, Suryakumar said: "Not really (we don’t talk about that). Everyone is completely focused. The way the practice sessions are going, the way the game went yesterday, it’s going according to plan and we are really excited for the challenge.
"We are not thinking about that (this being a second-string side). We are just here to have some fun, enjoy this series and take a lot of positives from here."