Sanjay Manjrekar suggests Ambati Rayudu's alternative for the No.4 spot

Sanjay Manjrekar suggests Ambati Rayudu’s alternative for the No.4 spot

Rayudu has looked out of sorts in the ongoing ODI series against Australia.

Ambati Rayudu
Ambati Rayudu. (Photo Source: ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

With just over a month left for the teams to pick their final squads for the upcoming ICC World Cup in England and Wales, India are yet to find a permanent solution to their No.4 woes in the batting order. Ambati Rayudu has been playing in that position for some time now but he is yet to find the purple patch and his less-than-impressive performance in the ongoing ODI series against Australia has given rise to calls for his replacement by some other player.

Rayudu’s last fifty in international cricket came against New Zealand in Wellington over a month ago and in the four matches (three ODIs and a T20I) that he got to play against the Aussies at home, Rayudu’s highest score has been 18. For someone who is expected to man a crucial position as No.4 in the batting order, the string of performance has been too ordinary for the fans and experts. Rayudu was replaced by KL Rahul in the fourth ODI in Mohali though he came in at No.3 and scored 26 while captain Virat Kohli batted at No.4 but managed just seven.

Former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar, who recently opined that the shocking loss in Mohali even after scoring over 350 runs would not have a bearing on India’s prospects in the World Cup, said he would back Vijay Shankar to bat at No.4. The 53-year-old also advised the Men in Blue to use MS Dhoni as a floater in the batting line-up.

‘Vijay can hit sixes and rotate strike’

“Vijay Shankar is my number 4 for his ability to hit sixes as well as rotate the strike. Play him as a batsman. As a bowler, he’s worth only three-odd bonus overs, not seven or the full quota of 10,” Manjrekar was quoted as saying by The Times of India (TOI).

Vijay impressed with his all-round performance in the second ODI in Nagpur where he scored a brisk 46 after India lost some quick wickets and then bowled the final over of the game to pick two wickets to give his side a win. Vijay batted at No.5 in that match while he generally comes in at No.7.

On Rayudu, Manjrekar said: “After his 90 against New Zealand in Wellington, I was sure he had cemented his spot. But three low scores and the rise of Vijay Shankar thereafter have put his place in question.”

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