World Cup 2019: Ravi Shastri not too worried with India’s No.4 batsman challenge
The No.4 slot has been a long debated batting position in the Indian team and a problem they haven't found a convincing solution to.
Updated - May 16, 2019 11:11 am
Team India will kick off their campaign at the ICC World Cup 2019 on June 5 and their first opponents will be South Africa. The Men in Blue will now be focusing fully on the tournament since the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 has ended. One concern for Virat Kohli’s men will remain the No.4 batting position, one of their vulnerable areas in this World Cup, and head coach Ravi Shastri has again asserted his opinion on the issue. According to him, there are plenty of options available for the No.4 position.
The Indian team management had banked on Ambati Rayudu to fill the position over the last several months but his form in 2019 ensured he couldn’t keep his place in the team. The selectors went for Vijay Shankar, who made his ODI debut only this year, as the No.4 batsman in the side. However, according to the coach, India have enough resources to choose from for the No.4 slot in the mega event.
India flexible enough to manage the No.4 challenge feels Shastri
“I don’t think so because for me we are a flexible team. Its horses for courses, we have got enough ammunition there, enough players who can bat at 4. So, I am not really worried about that,” Shastri was quoted as saying by Cricketnext.
The 56-year-old former all-rounder’s comment also stood at odds with the selectors’ decision to pick Vijay as a strong probable candidate for the key position. Chief selector MSK Prasad even described Shankar as a “three-dimensional” cricketer as he went on to pip a more experienced Rayudu to make it to the squad.
India had, in fact, tried several players at the No.4 position since the end of the 2015 World Cup and they included besides Rayudu, Ajinkya Rahane, Yuvraj Singh and Manish Pandey.
Vijay though had an impressive international outing earlier this year, his ordinary touch in the just-concluded Indian Premier League (244 runs in 15 matches for Sunrisers Hyderabad) has raised a lot of eyebrows. Shastri though said in his interview that India have their bases covered and their players are able to bat at any position and under any given circumstance.