India still need to get clarity on their ODI playing XI ahead of 2019 World Cup, says Zaheer Khan
India have made several changes to their squad during the ongoing Windies series.
Updated - Oct 29, 2018 8:56 pm
Former Indian fast bowler Zaheer Khan feels Team India needs to work on finalizing their playing XI for ODIs well before the 2019 World Cup gets underway. Their issues with the No.4 position have been well documented, with the captain himself admitting that his side is yet to find someone who can play that role. Meanwhile, the Men in Blue have also juggled around their all-rounders especially since Hardik Pandya’s injury, making way for the likes of Kedar Jadhav and Ravindra Jadeja.
As India take on the Windies in a 5-match ODI series, they have the luxury to try out a few combinations in the playing XI. They initially went with Mohammad Shami and Umesh Yadav as their main pacers. But skipper Virat Kohli was forced to bring back his premier fast bowling duo of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah after the visitors enforced an unlikely tie in the 2nd ODI. Meanwhile, Jadhav has also been brought back into the side after he returned to full match fitness.
Middle order woes still intact for India
The national selectors will have several headaches when selecting the India squad ahead of the World Cup. While the top three look immovable, the problems for Team India begin from the no.4 position onwards. Ambati Rayudu, who is currently auditioning for the spot, seems to be doing a very good job indeed after a 73 in Vizag and a fine century in Mumbai.
India have also experimented in the middle order and will have to look at their spinning options as well. Ravichandran Ashwin has been away from India’s ODI side but could be called back due to his experience.
Keeping these issues in mind, Zaheer believed India aren’t playing with their best XI yet and need to figure out their most consistent players who could step up their game during next year’s mega event. Speaking to Cricbuzz, he said, “I don’t think this is the best line up, the best playing XI, they still don’t have the clarity. That’s why this trial is also going on; they are still figuring out their options. But the key questions have remained the same, something which is a concern.”
Plenty of options for India: Zaheer
“I think here the options are plenty; it’s just that in terms of the process of what happens when things are not going your way. When things are going your way you see the typical classic case, where your fast bowlers take early wickets and then you have spin in the middle overs which gives you three wickets, and the opponents are completely out of the game,” he added.
India have been relying on their top order heavily, but when the middle-order batsmen have been exposed, they’ve failed to deliver. Nevertheless, Virat Kohli and co. still, have a handful of ODIs before their World Cup campaign gets underway.