There has been a lot of debate with regards to finalizing the perfect choice for the number four spot in the Indian team at the upcoming 2019 World Cup. India have tried a number of options at the No.4 spot in ODIs since the 2015 World Cup. The likes of Yuvraj Singh, Ajinkya Rahane, Shreyas Iyer, Suresh Raina, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik and many others in the recent times, but they are yet to find a suitable batsman for the crucial middle-order position.
Ambati Rayudu was the most recent name in the No.4 conundrum for India. After a magnificent run in IPL 2018, he was recalled into the national team for the 2018 Asia Cup. He has played a couple of sensational innings against the Windies and New Zealand till now.
However, Rayudu had a dismal run with the bat in the first three matches of the ongoing ODI series against Australia, after which he was also dropped for the recently concluded fourth ODI in Mohali. The right-hander scored a total of just 33 runs together in the first three ODIs. But the MSK Prasad-led national selection panel has already turned down all the speculations by finalizing all-rounder Vijay Shankar for the much-debated spot.
There isn’t anyone better suited for that slot
Former Indian skipper Kris Srikkanth reckons that MS Dhoni is the perfect choice to end all the debates about the number four spot. In his recent column for Times of India, the former cricketer wrote that the Men in Blue have a readymade number four choice in MS Dhoni. He also mentioned that Dhoni should have been tried at the slot on consistent basis.
“For long, the No. 4 position has been much debated and frankly, I think too much has been made about that. In my opinion, India has a readymade No. 4 in MS Dhoni. I don’t think there is anyone better suited for that slot than the former skipper himself and why he has not been allowed to bat there consistently remains a mystery,” wrote Kris Srikkanth in his recent column for Times of India.
Srikkanth was the selector in chief when India last won the World Cup in 2011, under the captaincy of MS Dhoni, who will be appearing in his fourth world tournament. Dhoni averages a healthy 56.58 at No.4, scoring 1358 runs in 30 innings, with a strike-rate of 92.82 and with Indian team management trying a handful of batsmen at the spot which included Ambati Rayudu and Vijay Shankar being the latest one.