Sandeep Patil not convinced with batting position No.4; says anybody can bat there
He also said that India have a lot of option for the No.4 position.
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Ever since Vijay Shankar pipped Ambati Rayudu to make it to the Indian squad for the ICC World Cup starting May 30, a debate has raged on. However, former India cricketer, coach and chief selector Sandeep Patil has a soft take on the matter for he thinks that India’s batting positions are flexible. According to him, anybody can bat at the crucial No.4 position at the mega event.
India have had a persistent problem over finalising their No.4 batsman as a number of batters have been used in that position since the last World Cup in 2015. Rayudu was being backed for a long time though he eventually lost the race to Shankar owing to a poor run with the bat in 2019. The Hyderabad cricketer is the only Indian batsman other than Yuvraj Singh and Manish Pandey to have scored a hundred at No.4 in the last four years. Rayudu played the most number of innings at No.4 in the last four years but yet missed the bus.
“It’s nonsense, all this debate. Batting positions are flexible. Every number, be it opening or No. 11, is important,” Patil, a member of India’s 1983 World Cup-winning squad and a batsman of prominence at the No.4 position in the early and mid-1980s, was quoted as saying by Sportstar. He also said that India have a lot of option for the No.4 position.
Dhoni, Kohli, Hardik, Kedar… Patil has a lot of candidates for No.4
According to him, Mahendra Singh Dhoni is ideal for the position but also didn’t rule out the possibility of captain Virat Kohli batting in the same position in the tournament as well. He even considered the likes of Hardik Pandya, Kedar Jadhav besides Vijay as candidates who can bat at No.4.
“Dhoni has batted at No. 4. When I was the chairman, he was always my No. 4 choice, while he said he was No. 6. I have told him many times that he should bat No.4. Who knows what will happen. Even Virat (Kohli) can bat at 4,” Patil added.
Just a few months ago, Indian head coach Ravi Shastri revealed that the Indian skipper Virat Kohli could bat at no.4 position in the upcoming Cricket World Cup. He claimed that if the conditions favoured for the swing bowlers, Virat Kohli would bat at no.4 instead of his usual dominant position at no.3.
India’s current chief selector MSK Prasad had said after unveiling the Indian squad that Vijay was considered for the No.4 position and praised him as a cricketer with three dimensions because of his bowling and fielding abilities.