Never-ending number four propaganda has given the Indian team management headaches for quite some time now. Many of them, including, Ambati Rayudu, Vijay Shankar and Ajinkya Rahane were tried out to fill in the void. But during the 2018 Asia Cup, Ambati Rayudu came to the fore and made himself a serious contender. Just when the right-hander was looking settled, thunder stroke and he lost his place. The number four conundrum resurfaced yet again, and India went with Vijay Shankar for the 2019 World Cup.
However, he was ruled out midway and Mayank Agarwal was called up as his replacement. During the mega event, the likes of Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik batted in that position. Meanwhile, Sanjay Jagdale, the former BCCI secretary, wants Ajinkya Rahane to shoulder the mantle at number four.
Knockout matches have different pressure
“I would like to have Ajinkya Rahane at No. 4. You can’t have players who couldn’t secure their spots in the Indian team despite playing since 2003. They are not your future also. Rahane’s first tour in England was terrific and he has been performing well outside the sub-continent,” Sanjay Jagdale was quoted as saying in an exclusive interview with The Indian Express.
“So why can’t you have somebody like Rahane just to ensure that you play out the 50 overs when situations get tight? Knockout matches have different pressure,” he added. Rahane’s name was in the mix for the tournament, but he couldn’t make the cut. The 31-year-old last played an ODI back in February 2018 during India’s tour of South Africa.
Jagdale also mentioned that he doesn’t feel sorry about the likes of Rayudu and Karthik as they have gotten a number of chances to prove their mettle. The former secretary felt that the selectors have been backing the wrong players all this while. Moreover, he expressed shock after Rishabh Pant wasn’t picked in the initial squad, though he became Shikhar Dhawan’s replacement. Furthermore, Jagdale stated that the likes of Shreyas Iyer and Manish Pandey haven’t got adequate chances to prove themselves. As far as Rahane is concerned, he is currently in England, plying his trade for Hampshire in the County Championship Division One.