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Some questions after India’s 2-3 loss to Australia in ODI series at home

There is a silver lining in this loss to the defending world champions and the faster the Indian team management addresses the issues exposed, the better.

No.4 batsman not yet decided: What were India doing all these months?

Ambati Rayudu
Ambati Rayudu. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

India are yet to decide on their No.4 batsman and that’s quite a big offence at this stage. The team beat South Africa 5-1 in their den last year; won the Asia Cup; won a home series against the Windies 3-1; beat Australia 2-1 on their soil and then thumped New Zealand 4-1 in their territory. If a team, despite these series of success, hasn’t yet zeroed in on the crucial No.4 position, then it’s a disappointment.

The Indian team management and the selectors were heard saying time and again that the core team for the WC is ready. Isn’t No.4 in the batting order and that too in a WC a core position? India perhaps wasted too much time now deciding on their No.4 and with no more international games left now, their take on the issue will now be considerably influenced by luck. It won’t be an exaggeration to say that the failure of India’s No.4 in the series against Australia was a major reason for their loss as nobody played a central role around which the batting order could rally.

The Vijay Shankar question

Vijay Shankar
Vijay Shankar. (Photo by Kerry Marshall/Getty Images)

Vijay Shankar is undoubtedly a prospect that excites Indian fans but one believes the team hasn’t yet found a perfect position for him to bat, treating him more like an all-rounder which he is not. If none else works out, Vijay could be India’s best find for the No.4 position but having said that, he wasn’t given the opportunity to get accustomed to that position, temperamentally. Now expecting him to deliver straightaway in the WC at No.4 will be to put him under big pressure. The team had enough success and with it, enough time, to finalise its top six batsmen by now but it simply left it for the last minute.

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