ICC World Cup 2019: Sanjay Manjrekar picks India’s Number 4 and 5
"Not one of the seven to eight players tried in those positions has shown exceptional ability."
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India has already finished playing their last international fixtures before the World Cup, which commences on May 30 in England and Wales. However, the Men in Blue slumped against Australia 3-2 in their last bilateral series against Australia after going 2-0 up in the five-match series. Prior to the mega event, India is still left with some unanswered questions.
Ambati Rayudu, who as touted to be slotted at number four, couldn’t live up to the expectations and was subsequently dropped from the team in the last couple of One Dayers. In the meantime, Sanjay Manjrekar, the former Indian cricketer, reckons that India has clearly not found a proper number four and five after the likes of Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina.
This is as surprising as it’s disappointing
Sanjay didn’t mince any words in saying that it’s the fault of the cricketers for not latching on to the opportunities, especially in the country where batting gets highlighted more often.
“That India still don’t have obvious and exciting Nos. 4 and 5, like Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina when they were around, is more the fault of players who have been given these chances than those who gave it to them,” Manjrekar was quoted as saying in ESPNcricinfo.
“Not one of the seven to eight players tried in those positions has shown exceptional ability and, importantly, consistency in their performances in the most batting-friendly format. For a batting country like India, this is as surprising as it’s disappointing,” he added.
In the end, Manjrekar mentioned that he would prefer Vijay Shankar at number four and Kedar Jadhav at number five in the lineup. “I pick them a bit grudgingly,” he concluded.
India, captained by Virat Kohli, is scheduled to play their first match against South Africa at the Rose Bowl in Southampton on Wednesday, June 5.