India experienced a dream warm-up fixture in the clinical 95-run win against Bangladesh at the Sophia Gardens in Cardiff on Tuesday. The biggest worry for the Indian team management got eased out with the performance of KL Rahul at the much-debated number four slot. The right-hander racked up a fantastic knock of 108 runs and countered the Bangladeshi fast bowlers as well as the spinners very well during the 164-run partnership along with MS Dhoni, who too scored a fabulous hundred.
After losing the toss and being asked to bat first, the Virat Kohli-led team posted a massive first innings total on the back of fabulous centuries from the pair of KL Rahul (108) and MS Dhoni (113). In the second innings, the wrist-spin duo comprising of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal bowled extremely well to restrict the Bangladeshi batsmen and in turn propelled India to an exciting win.
However, there are also others who believe that Team India has better options for No.4.
Veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, for instance, is of the opinion that India should push Dhoni to the key position in the starting XI for the ICC World Cup starting Thursday even though he backed Rahul over Vijay Shankar. Dhoni came in at No.6 to score the blazing century during his he added 164 runs with Rahul to power the team to a strong position.
“I don’t want Vijay Shankar, KL Rahul might be a better no.4 as he’s got a variety of strokes under his belt. And the best thing about watching him bat is when he hits the ball and how his head stays still and focused on the ball. He played so many shots against Bangladesh but you won’t have seen his head wobble a single time,” quoted Harbhajan Singh.
He should be brought up the pecking order
The 38-year-bowler who has played in three World Cups (2003, 2007 and 2011) and was a member of the champion squad of 2011 led by Dhoni, said every bowler in the world is scared of Dhoni. A member of Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League now, Harbhajan said if a bowler is hit for a six in his very first delivery, his entire mindset for the over changes.
“But if you ask me who my favourite no.4, who would be? I will say its probably MS Dhoni. The wicketkeeper-batsman has been playing at number six-seven for team India as a finisher under a lot of pressure. Now he should be brought up the pecking order as he has the ability and the experience to come in and hit a six and attack any bowler,” Harbhajan mentioned.