ICC World Cup 2019: Ricky Ponting makes his pick for India’s No.4 in the mega event
"They tried a few even during the recent Australia series."
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With India’s long-term problem to find a perfect number four batsman showing no signs of coming to an end, former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting has also weighed in on it. The experimentation began after the tour of West Indies in mid-2017 when Yuvraj Singh was dropped after a prolonged poor display with the bat. Since then, the likes of KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya, Ajinkya Rahane and Suresh Raina were tried out but without much success.
The latest player to be tried out is Ambati Rayudu. A good display in the last IPL saw him making a comeback to the team in the Asia Cup after a two-year hiatus. The start was promising as he impressed in the Asia Cup and the following series against Windies. However, his struggle in Australia and New Zealand caused quite a few concerns which have further elevated following the home series against Australia.
In the only three matches of the five-match series he played, Rayudu scored 13, 18 and 2. In the other two games, the team-management tried out Virat Kohli and Rishabh Pant at that position, thus making it clear that they are still not sure about who would bat at that position. And now Ricky Ponting has come up with another candidate for that position – Shreyas Iyer.
“They tried a few even during the recent Australia series. Rayudu was there, Rishabh, Shankar. They could have also have tried Shreyas Iyer. He is a very good player. He has had a great domestic season. I am excited to catch up with him. It’s an interesting conundrum; maybe, they can fit in KL Rahul in that spot,” Ricky Ponting told The Times of India (TOI) in an interview.
Iyer’s strange case:
Iyer has fallen out of favour with the selectors in recent times. He has been constantly ignored by the selectors despite being a consistent performer in the domestic arena. In October last year, he led Mumbai to the Vijay Hazare Trophy title win, scoring 373 runs at an average of over 93.
His last ODI appearance came in February last year during the tour of South Africa. Iyer has so far played 6 ODIs, scoring 210 runs at an average of 42.