2019 World Cup: Pietersen suggests Kohli, Shastri not to drop Shankar

ICC World Cup 2019: Kevin Pietersen Suggests Virat Kohli, Ravi Shastri Not to Drop Vijay Shankar

Virat Kohli, Ravi Shastri, Tom Moody, Mike Hesson
Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Former England batsman Kevin Pietersen sees a lot of substance in the 28-year-old Team India all-rounder, Vijay Shankar. Pietersen believes he would go a long way to deliver. In the ongoing ICC World Cup, Shankar has featured in three games so far.

The exciting Tamil Nadu-based Shankar also got a chance to bat at No. 4 spot, which has been India’s cause of concern since now-retired Yuvraj Singh has had not featured at the very particular position.

However, Shankar has managed just 58 runs in three matches at an average of 29. Pietersen, in another way, would want to see Shankar featuring against England.

Shankar couldn’t do much in the mega tourney despite claiming two for 22 against Pakistan in Manchester on June 16.

By going to India’s show, each player has contributed to help their side for an unbeaten run at the quadrennial event in England and Wales.

Whereas, the 39-year-old Pietersen, who himself has featured in two ODI World Cups in 2007 and 2011, believes Shankar might end up winning a game for India against under pressure England at Edgbaston in Birmingham on super Sunday (June 30).

During his World Cup appearances, Pietersen has aggregated 575 runs in 13 matches. He slammed two hundreds and four half-centuries to his name. Interestingly, a part-time off-spinner conceded 51 runs off 66 deliveries during ODI showpiece. He has a wealth of experience of playing during his heydays. And, he further knows England cricket inside out.

Kevin Pietersen has a message for Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri:

India, ICC World Cup 2019, Virat Kohli, Ravi Shastri, Kevin Pietersen
Kevin Pietersen and Virat Kohli involved in a friendly chat. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Personally, the veteran cricketer Pietersen requested Team India skipper Virat Kohli and head coach Ravi Shastri not to exclude Shankar from their playing XI for their all-important game against the Three Lions.

On the eve of England-India clash, Pietersen reiterated that Men in Blue should not look at wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant.

The explosive batsman Pant has replaced Shikhar Dhawan, who broke his left thumb on the bowling of Pat Cummins during India-Australia clash on June 9 at The Oval.

Pietersen believes it will take at least three weeks to prepare himself for such an edition. But, Pant has been known for his pyrotechnics who could be threatening on his day, and Pietersen is also aware of it.

Pietersen trolls Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri for India’s middle-order woes? Well, the response lies in his tweet.

“Dear Virat & Ravi – please don’t drop Vijay Shankar.  I think he’s coming into his own and would potentially win you tomorrow’s game. Don’t think about Pant. He needs another 3 weeks prep before I think he can get into your World Cup side. Thanks, boys!,” Pietersen tweeted.

Overall, India has dominated teams thoroughly at the twelfth edition of the World Cup. The World No. 1 ODI team bagged 11 points in six matches, which included a washout against New Zealand on June 13 in Trent Bridge.

Well, England is all sorts of trouble following their back-to-back defeats against Australia and Sri Lanka. They will face New Zealand in their last league stage game on Wednesday (July 3) in Durham.

As of now, England sits at fourth spot with eight points in seven matches. They’re bound to win their remainder of the games to give themselves a chance for the knockout stages.

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Tahir Ibn Manzoor is a staffer at Sportzwiki.com, who follows cricket like food after listening to running commentary on a transistor radio when he was only eight, and penned down the scorecard when he turned 11. Twitter, Instagram: TahirIbnManzoor