It feels odd to have permanent batting slots in modern-age cricket: Kapil Dev
There are quite a few options in the Indian team who can bat at the No.4 position and they are open to experimentation.
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After two years of a revolving door policy, the Indian national selectors finally decided to back Vijay Shankar for the much talked about no. 4 batting position in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 to be played in England. He is the first-choice batsman for that slot, as chief selector MSK Prasad while naming the team said that if Shankar is in the playing XI, he will bat at no. 4
Shankar, who plays for the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League, has not performed up to the mark in the tournament, making fans sweat over his role in the quadrennial event. But former India captain Kapil Dev feels that sweating over the uncertainty of getting consistent performance from the no. 4 batsman is pointless. The World Cup-winning captain is of the opinion that the batting order can be tweaked as per the match situation, and even an opener can come down to bat at no. 4
“In the age of Twenty20, it’s difficult to say who’s an opener and who’s number four,” Kapil told reporters at a promotional event. “The mindset these days is anybody can go and bat (at any number). Remember when (Mahendra Singh) Dhoni went before Yuvraj Singh in Mumbai?” he said, referring to the 2011 final.
“In the last 10 years cricket has changed so much that it almost feels odd to have permanent slots, maybe with the exception of openers. In fact, these days you can even send an opener to bat at number four,” Kapil said.
The no. 4 batting position is a very crucial one in ODIs because that’s where the batsman is expected to stabilize the innings as per the situation of the match in the middle overs. There is also a possibility that the team management brings in someone from the reserves to bat at that position or it could be the veteran MS Dhoni.
Kapil’s predicted semi-finalists in the World Cup
The 60-year-old was also asked to predict his semi-finalists for the event, he chose India, Australia and England as the first three teams and assumed that the fourth one would be among New Zealand, Pakistan or West Indies.