Team India’s No.4 conundrum seems to be a never-ending mystery. However, this problem would not have been highlighted, if Ambati Rayudu had performed consistently in the recently concluded ODI series against Australia. 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 then had a dismal run with the bat in the first three matches of the Australia series, after which he was also dropped for the fourth and fifth ODIs in Mohali and Delhi. The right-hander scored a total of just 33 runs together in the first three ODIs. After regular failures, Rayudu has also put his World Cup 2019 selection chances under serious doubts.
Pant is your future
Former Indian skipper and the newly appointed Delhi Capitals advisor Sourav Ganguly has an answer for India’s unsolved No.4 issues. During a recent interview, Ganguly picked Rishabh Pant to bat at number four for India in the 2019 World Cup. In Rayudu’s absence, Pant was given a chance to prove his worth at the No.4 position in the fifth ODI against Australia, but he failed to live up to the expectations, scoring just 19 runs.
“Look at how Pant played in the last IPL. In ODIs, Pant is coming in and going out because MS Dhoni is there and that doesn’t help. Pant is your future. For the next 10 years, you will see a lot of him. He will be a huge asset for the Indian team,” Sourav Ganguly was quoted as saying by Times of India.
IPL will decide the No.4 position
Recently, Indian captain Virat Kohli mentioned that performances in the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) will not be metric in the World Cup selection process. However, Ganguly feels that the coming IPL will decide who takes that vacant No.4 spot. Earlier the former Indian cricketer picked India’s premier Test batsman Cheteshwar Pujara as his No.4 for India in ODIs.
“Many choices are there but I think the IPL will in a way decide who will get that position. I had said Pujara because he has been in good form. I saw Dravid do the role when I was captain. If you don’t have an option you can try him. Pant or Rayudu could be an option. We can give our opinion, but somewhere I feel Kohli knows who it should be,” the former captain further added.