World Cup 2019: Kris Srikkanth wants Rishabh Pant to bat at number 4 for India
Former India cricketer opines Kedar and Vijay are yet to convince in the middle.
Updated - Jan 23, 2020 8:13 pm
A century from Lokesh Rahul in the warm-up game against Bangladesh meant India went into the World Cup with every batting position sorted out. Moreover, the top order being in sublime touch with the bat meant that the middle order was unexposed in the initial games. When everything had started to fall in the place, Shikhar Dhawan sustained a hairline fracture in his thumb. This meant that Rahul had to be promoted up the order to open alongside Rohit Sharma.
Though the opening was never a major concern, it once again opened the debate for the number four batsman. Vijay Shankar was initially selected as the batsman for this slot, and the injury finally opened the door s for him. However, he has been a shadow of the kind of batsman he is. He has scored 29 and 15 in the first two outings, wasting his starts and getting out at the worst possible time. Many experts have criticized him, and Kris Srikkanth is one of them.
“If I was involved with the team management, I think I would consider putting a guy like Rishabh Pant in at No.4. They have brought him over here now, he is ready to go and most importantly, he has played in England before so understands the conditions.” wrote Srikkanth in his column for ICC.
“We saw him impress in the Test series here last summer when he came into the side and with England up next, maybe now is the good time to get him in there against a familiar opponent.” wrote the former Indian opener. Rishabh was a part of the team which toured England last year. The southpaw did reasonably well, scoring 162 runs in six innings, which included one of his career-best knock of 114 in the 5th test.
Srikkanth slams Vijay Shankar and Kedar Jadhav
“In the middle order, Vijay Shankar and Kedar Jadhav have yet to really convince. I think it’s fair to say that their approach needs some fine-tuning,” wrote Srikkanth. It needs no revision that both of them have failed to make their presence felt. Kedar was too slow in his 52-run knock against underdogs Afghanistan. He failed to build a much-needed partnership with Virat Kohli against Windies. Vijay Shankar also has turned out to be a disappointment for the Men in Blue.
With back-to-back failures of the middle order, it is fair to say that the Indian management needs to think something else. They are up against England on 30th June, where a single mistake can cost the game. Therefore, it’s important that the middle order steps up. It would be interesting to see whether out-of-form Vijay and Kedar get Kohli’s backing once again, or Rishabh Pant is chipped in.