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World Cup 2019: For Syed Kirmani, Ambati Rayudu is the No.4 batsman for India and not Vijay Shankar

Kirmani's first pick for the No 4 spot is Kedar Jadhav, but the latter's presence in the World Cup is uncertain, the former cricketer picks Ambati Rayudu.

Ambati Rayudu
Ambati Rayudu. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Former Syed Kirmani, one of the evils of 1983 who went on to win the World Cup that year under Kapil Dev, is yet to come over the debate between Ambati Rayudu or Vijay Shankar for India’s World Cup squad. The Indian selectors picked Vijay over Rayudu in the England-bound squad as the No.4 batsman even though Rayudu was being backed for a long time for the position. Chief selector MSK Prasad even cited Vijay as a “three-dimensional cricketer” because of his batting, bowling and fielding abilities.

Kirmani, 69, is however not convinced with Vijay’s pick in the 15-man squad. He though did not go for Rayudu as his first choice for the No.4 position and said Kedar Jadhav will be his first pick. Jadhav’s fortune though is still uncertain after he suffered a shoulder injury while fielding in the just-concluded Indian Premier League (IPL) and Kirmani said if the former fails to make it to the World Cup, he would go for Rayudu and pick him for the crucial position.

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Jadhav has been picked in India’s 15-man squad for the mega event but after he was ruled out of the IPL towards the business end because of the injury, it is still to be seen whether he can make it. India has a number of players as standbys who would step in if there is an unrecoverable injury and Rayudu is one among them.

“Just one thing that would have been different in my squad would have been the choice of Rayudu ahead of Vijay Shankar. I would not play Shankar at number four in the World Cup. My choice for that spot would be Jadhav if he is fit and if he is not it has to be Rayudu,” Kirmani penned in his column for Times of India.

“The flipside of the IPL has been the possibility of Kedar Jadhav missing out because of an injury. It would indeed be a sad moment if Jadhav would miss out. He has been an asset in the last two years in the 50-over format.”

India have not played ODIs since March

Kirmani also expressed confidence that the Indian team will do well in the tournament even though they haven’t played any international cricket since March. Pakistan, on the other hand, is playing England in an ODI series just ahead of the World Cup. The former wicket-keeper said that even though India’s World Cup-bound players have just played in a T2o league, it is unlikely that their chances will be affected. He cited India’s all-round strength as the reason.

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