Team India’s new batting coach Vikram Rathour eyes to resolve No.4 problem
Lack of form and injuries saw India playing as many as three wicketkeeper-batsmen in the World Cup this year, making their middle-order woes prominent.
He made his India debut in the 1996 tour of England which saw a great many number of players starting their international career for the visitors. In the first Test match in Edgbaston, Vikram Rathour had made his Test debut along with Sunil Joshi, Venkatesh Prasad and Paras Mhambrey but could not do much as India lost the match by 8 wickets.
The two towering batsmen of the future years –- Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid – had also made their debuts in that same series and Rathour subsequently faded out. He managed to play six Tests in 1996-97 but could not make more than 44 as his highest score. He also played seven ODIs in which he scored two fifties.
The former opening batsman recently returned to India’s national set-up, as the batting coach replacing Sanjay Bangar. Bangar failed to see his contract getting renewed after India lost in the semi-final of the ICC World Cup 2019. While other coaching staff members like Ravi Shastri and Bharat Arun continued, Bangar gave way to 50-year-old Rathour.
Rathour focuses on No.4 batting position
The former cricketer has acknowledged that India’s middle-order has not been able to perform in the limited-overs and vowed to look into the matter in the coming days. Lack of form and injuries saw India playing as many as three wicketkeeper-batsmen in the World Cup this year, making their middle-order woes prominent.
“It is not just about the World Cup. It is one slot (we must look at). The middle-order in one-day is not doing well and we must, of course, sort it out,” Rathour was quoted as saying by bcci.tv while speaking on the No.4 woes. India tried Ambati Rayudu for a long time for the crucial position but eventually didn’t pick him when the World Cup arrived.
Rathour also spoke about two batsmen that he thought were doing well in domestic cricket as well as for India A. The two are Shreyas Iyer and Manish Pandey. “Shreyas Iyer has done well in the last couple of games and we also have Manish Pandey. These two guys have done very well in domestic cricket and with India A. These are the batters who are capable of doing the job and I have no doubt about it in my mind.”
Iyer played in the recent ODI series against the West Indies in which he scored two half-centuries, assuring both captain Virat Kohli and head coach Shastri.