ICC World Cup 2019: Sanjay Manjrekar Backs Vijay Shankar to Bat at the No 4 Position
Team India is all set to begin their World Cup campaign against South Africa on 5th June. However, before that, the champion team needs to solve their issues with the No 4 batting position. Chairman of selectors MSK Prasad has tipped Vijay Shankar to carry out the role of batting at No 4. However, after the injury to Vijay Shankar, the team management went with KL Rahul at No 4 during India’s first warm-up clash against New Zealand.
However, he was castled for just 6 runs and it was yet another failure for the stylish batsman at the international level. India will face Bangladesh in their next warm-up clash on 28th May and it will be interesting to see how they plan and whether they would persist with Rahul. Former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar feels that Team India should go for Shankar at least for the first few matches. The all-rounder was hit on the forearm at the nets while facing net bowler Khaleel Ahmed. He is hopeful of getting fit for the next warm-up clash against Bangladesh.
“I want to see Vijay Shankar begin with and see how he handles it. Because Rahul is more suited to No. 1 and 2. Very rarely he has batted at No 4, and when he did that, he did not look to me like a No 4. Rahul is a No 1 or 2 player who can be a replacement at the top,” Sanjay Manjrekar was quoted as saying by Mumbai Mirror.
KL Rahul has played just 14 ODI’s since his debut back in 2016. He has batted thrice in the No 4 position and has had very ordinary outings. Meanwhile, Vijay Shankar is someone who has never batted at that position. Hence it will also be an experiment from India to send him to bat at No 4.
MSK Prasad had earlier stated that Shankar got the nod because of 3-dimensional skills and for the ability to contribute in all the 3 ways possible. Meanwhile, KL Rahul has been picked more as a reserve opener in case Rohit Sharma or Shikhar Dhawan gets injured or goes through a lean patch.
“Why I said that because No 4 is a batsman who has to be fluid, who puts the ball into the gaps, handles spin well…and is wristy too. He has to have all the gears to handle situations like 20/2 or 220/2. Rahul always opened and Shankar has had a career in the middle-order. So, I will go with Vijay to begin with,” Sanjay Manjrekar concluded.
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