No.4 conundrum still haunting India

Over the past couple of years every passionate Cricket fan in India has been worried about the no.4 slot. With the likes of Ajinkya Rahane and Ambati Rayudu given chances to prove their mettle and the latter coming very close to cement his position in the side. But so close and yet so far for Rayudu as he didn’t have the confidence of the team management and selectors going into the ICC showpiece event in England&Wales. In the first few games things were looking all right for Team India with KL Rahul looking good at no.4 but with the injury to Shikhar Dhawan, Rahul had to move up the order and again no.4 started to be a cause of concern. Vijay Shankar was entrusted to do the job but he couldn’t do something substantial and now with his toe injury Rishabh Pant was given a chance. It seemed as if he was destined to play this World Cup after initially not being selected. He was flown in as a replacement for Shikhar Dhawan and given the chance to play against England. But it looked like a forced change by bringing him into the playing XI ahead of Dinesh Karthik. Rohit Sharma in the post match press conference after the England match was asked whether he was surprised to see Pant walk in at No.4 ahead of the in-form Pandya to which he came up with a tongue-in-cheek reply that it was the media which was constantly asking ‘Where is Rishabh Pant, where is Rishabh Pant’ and he replied there he was at No.4. This clearly shows that the team is trying to solve the puzzle before the knock out stage but again seems to be lost in the process.

Now, Mayank Aggarwal has been named as the replacement for the injured Vijay Shankar which in a way is a smart move by the team management as he can open with Rohit and KL Rahul could again be asked to come down and bat at no.4. Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli have been doing bulk of the scoring with Rohit having scored 3 tons so far and Kohli scoring 5 half-centuries. The problem lies in the middle overs when the batsmen need to rotate the strike. Hopefully the team management finds a permanent solution for the remainder of the matches to bring its World Cup campaign back on track after the loss to England.

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