Only two people?’: Suryakumar Yadav stunned by record low turnout before captaincy debut in India vs Australia T20Is

In the serene coastal city of Visakhapatnam, where the waves of the Bay of Bengal whisper tales of cricketing battles, a surprising hush befell the pre-match press conference for the India vs Australia 1st T20I. Only two reporters graced the occasion, a stark contrast to the bustling gatherings witnessed during the recently concluded World Cup. The world, it seemed, was experiencing a collective cricket fatigue — players, support staff, fans, and even journalists finding it challenging to transition from the grandeur of a global tournament to a bilateral series in just three days.

As Suryakumar Yadav, India’s captain for the T20I series against Australia, took the podium, a bemused smile played on his lips. “Only two people?” he remarked, capturing the essence of the unusual situation. For a team accustomed to marathon press conferences and a barrage of questions, this was an uncharted territory. The BCCI media manager, often orchestrating a delicate rotation to accommodate the multitude of journalists during home series, found himself with a sparse audience on this particular Wednesday.

The two diligent reporters, likely from news agencies PTI and ANI, engaged in a unique dance of queries with Suryakumar Yadav. His expressions suggested a readiness to field more questions, but the reporters seemed to have exhausted their arsenal. In a cricketing landscape accustomed to a media frenzy, this scenario was nothing short of extraordinary.

During the World Cup, press conferences featuring the Indian team attracted a legion of journalists, often exceeding 100 and, in some high-stakes encounters, even crossing the 200-mark. The global appeal of ICC events ensures a diverse contingent of reporters, each representing their respective nations. However, the spectacle of such attention during bilateral series is a testament to the unparalleled cricketing fervor in India.

Yet, the quick turnaround from the World Cup final to the first T20I against Australia proved to be a challenging bridge to cross. A mere three-day gap left players, fans, and journalists grappling with the emotional aftermath of India’s heart-wrenching loss in the final. The ghost of that defeat lingered, making it seemingly difficult to muster enthusiasm for a fresh series against the same opponents, albeit with different lineups.

Suryakumar Yadav, reflecting on the lingering disappointment, acknowledged the challenge. “It is difficult; it will take time. It can’t be that you wake up next morning and you forget everything that happened. It was a long tournament. We would have loved to win it,” he confessed. The pain of falling short in the World Cup final was still palpable, but Suryakumar emphasized the need to move forward. “As you get up in the morning, the sun rises again, there is light at the end of the tunnel. You have to move on. It is a fresh team (T20 squad), really looking forward to the challenge.”

The support from fans and families, Suryakumar Yadav revealed, became a crucial anchor for him and his teammates to navigate through the waves of disappointment. “Obviously, a little disappointing, but when you look back at the journey, it was a great campaign. All of India and our families were proud of the way everyone displayed their talent on the ground. We played a positive brand of cricket throughout the tournament. We can be very proud of that,” he remarked, seeking solace in the positives of the World Cup campaign.

In the peculiar dynamics of squad composition, only three members — Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, and Prasidh Krishna — from India’s World Cup squad made it to the T20I series against Australia. The rest were granted a well-deserved break, with Shreyas Iyer slated to join the squad after the third T20I. In contrast, the Australian contingent, fresh from their triumph in the World Cup final, fielded a formidable lineup, showcasing the depth of their talent pool.

David Warner, initially named in the squad, withdrew citing fatigue, adding to the narrative of post-World Cup exhaustion. In his absence, Aaron Hardie stepped in, highlighting the toll a global tournament can take on even the most seasoned players.

As the cricketing caravan moves forward, leaving the echoes of the World Cup final behind, the challenge for both players and journalists is clear — to recalibrate, rejuvenate, and embrace the rhythm of a new series. In a cricket-crazed nation like India, where every match is a spectacle, the ebb and flow of emotions, from the highs of a World Cup campaign to the quietude of a two-reporter press conference, encapsulate the intricate dance between expectation and reality in the realm of sports.

Read More:- Following Rohit Sharma’s Lead: Suryakumar Yadav Vows to Emulate India’s Former Captain in T20Is Against Australia

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