2019 World Cup: Anil Kumble Reckons Team India’s Inconsistent Middle-Order is a ‘Concern’
Former Team India chief coach Anil Kumble is hoping to see middle-order coming good in the upcoming 2019 World Cup from the get-go. While expressing his concern regarding the inconsistent show from the middle-order department, Kumble sees it as a worrying sign before the kick-off of ODI showpiece on May 30 in England and Wales.
Fix the middle-order riddle at the earliest:
The 48-year-old veteran spin-bowler Kumble urged Team India to fix the middle-order conundrum at the earliest. He hinted when it’s the time to perform, India would be sorting the middle-order.
“I think that’s something that’s a little bit of a concern and that’s what India will have to address. The only way you can address this is at the World Cup. It is again a little bit of a worrying thought,” Kumble said.
However, Indian National Cricket Team players are supposed to play in the India Premier League (IPL). The tourney will kick-off in Chennai on March 23, as Shreyas Iyer and Ambati Rayudu will wrestle in the middle, to impress selectors.
Kumble reiterated those who will make it to the squad to feature in the middle-order, has a lot on their shoulders.
“So, you’re hoping not necessarily knowing fully well. [I am] hoping that the players you’re going to pick in the World Cup, in that middle order, will perform for you right from day 1,” Kumble added.
When asked on the comparison with the 2011 World Cup middle-order, Kumble avoided picking among the scenarios. He added winning or losing has its fair share, in between.
“More than the quality, I think the number of matches that the middle order played consistently until the World Cup. Win or lose, I mean it doesn’t really matter. Yes, you win a series, you lose a series,” Kumble further stated.
However, he has credited the quality which Indian middle-order possessed way back in 2011.
Inconsistency is a concern:
Kumble has stressed upon a current lot of middle-order batters. The veteran cricketer pointed out that middle-order hasn’t been up to the mark in previous 12 matches.
“I don’t think you should worry too much about the result. But I think what really worries me is that there’s not been consistent players playing in the middle order over the last say 10-12 matches,” Kumble further said.
While talking about the recent series loss against Australia, Kumble revealed he has read a report on India losing a series before previous World Cup too.
Back then, Southpaw Yuvraj Singh has played a remarkable role while Suresh Raina came up with a decent show from time-to-time. Also, MS Dhoni lit the Wankhede Stadium in the grand-finale against Sri Lanka.
However, Kumble reminisced about India lost against New Zealand in 2003 while calling it as dissimilar.
“After this loss, I saw some report. It even said before the last World Cup, India had lost a series prior to the World Cup. Even in 2003, we lost to New Zealand. So, losing and winning are two different things,” Kumble inferred.
During the recently-held five-match ODI series against Australia, the team management has tried Rayudu and Rishabh Pant at number four.
Well, in his recent interview, Kumble has backed MS Dhoni to bat at number four. In the same breath, he feels Virat Kohli should bat at an ideal number three.
Tahir Ibn Manzoor
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