The discussions regarding the much debated No.4 spot in the Indian team for the 2019 World Cup seems to be never-ending. The Indian selection panel-led by chief selector MSK Prasad has already clarified that the “three-dimensional cricketer”, Vijay Shankar is the first-choice candidate for the vacant slot in the upcoming showpiece event. However, Shankar picked up an injury ahead of the warm-up fixture against New Zealand and in his place KL Rahul batted at number four slot in the practice match.
However, Rahul also failed to make the spot his own, getting dismissed for just six in 10 balls. It will be pretty much interesting to see who the Indian team management will send at No.4 in their second warm-up game against Bangladesh on May 28. Former Indian cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar wants to see with Vijay Shankar as the starter to take up the fourth slot in the batting order in the main tournament.
During a recent interview, Sanjay Manjrekar revealed that he wants to witness how Shankar handles the big opportunity to bat at four. He mentioned that Rahul is more suited at the openers’ slots. Manjrekar reckoned the fact that Rahul has not played much at number four position and hasn’t looked comfortable too in the few innings played at that spot.
“I want to see Vijay Shankar begin with and see how he handles it. Because Rahul is more suited to No. 1 and 2. Very rarely he has batted at No 4, and when he did that, he did not look to me like a No 4. Rahul is a No 1 or 2 player who can be a replacement at the top,” Sanjay Manjrekar was quoted as saying by Mumbai Mirror.
He has to have all the gears
Rahul, who has played only 14 matches since his ODI debut in 2016, has played just three innings at No.4 and averages only 13 in that position. Vijay, who left the training session midway after getting hit, is yet to bat at No.4. Manjrekar stated that an ideal batsman to bat at number four should know how to put the ball in the gaps, handle the spin well as well as be wristy with his timing.
“Why I said that because No 4 is a batsman who has to be fluid, who puts the ball into the gaps, handles spin well…and is wristy too. He has to have all the gears to handle situations like 20/2 or 220/2. Rahul always opened and Shankar has had a career in the middle-order. So, I will go with Vijay to begin with,” Manjrekar concluded.