The Men in Blue’s issues with their number four slot in the batting order have been a headache for almost a couple of years now. A number of players from the experienced names to newcomers have been tried, yet the selectors are yet to find the appropriate candidate for the slot. The likes of Manish Pandey, Shreyas Iyer, Dinesh Karthik and Ambati Rayudu got chances out of which Rayudu got the longest rope. However, even Rayudu was sidelined and Vijay Shankar, who made his ODI debut earlier this year, was preferred in the 2019 World Cup squad.
To the team’s agony, Shankar, after ordinary performances was ruled out due to a toe niggle and Rishabh Pant, got to bat at number four. Even KL Rahul, the backup opener batted at 4 to kick the tournament off before Shikhar Dhawan suffered a thumb injury in the game against Australia and was ruled out. Unfortunately, none could churn out a knock of substance through the course of their campaign as the Men in Blue bowed out the mega event. Virat Kohli & Co lost to New Zealand in the semis at the Old Trafford in Manchester as their batting failed to rise to the occasion. After India’s exit, a senior official of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said that selection panel, led by MSK Prasad, needs to criticised for the outcome.
MSK Prasad must have seen the areas that require attention
“When the team wins a tournament, the selectors are given a financial reward for their performance but when the criticism comes after a loss, it is only the players who seem to be criticised. What about the selectors?” the official was quoted as saying in India Today.
The official stated that Prasad, the chairman of selectors, should be pretty aware of the chinks in India’s armour as he travels with the team. Moreover, the official also highlighted the importance of taking accountability for the ‘Number 4’ mess India has been through for quite some time now. “More importantly, what about the chairman of the selection committee? He has been constantly travelling with the team on all tours and surely he must have seen the areas that require attention. The accountability for the number 4 musical chairs must rest with him since he was the one playing the music,” the official added.