ICC World Cup 2019: Vijay Shankar Gets a Nod in Ajit Agarkar’s Playing XI
With the ICC World Cup 2019 only two months away, cricket pundits are busy picking their teams and playing XI for every participating nations. Former Indian National Cricket team all-rounder Ajit Agarkar is the new addition to the list as he recently predicted the playing XI of India. Meanwhile, he made some interesting choices one of which is including Vijay Shankar as the no four batsmen.
Vijay Shankar at four?
The recent snubbing against Australia has raised a lot of questions in their batting order. The batting order still looks unsettled before the showpiece event. They have tried all the permutation and combinations, but no player has shown consistency to cement the berth. The likes of Ambati Rayudu and Dinesh Karthik got a long run but couldn’t seal the spot. Also, the management had tried their hands on Vijay Shankar in a few games. The Tamil Nadu all-rounder although didn’t score big but showed his ability to bat at the top-order.
Ajit Agarkar, meanwhile, kept the top three batters intact with Shankar at four. The former Mumbai cricketer felt that Shankar’s recent performance up the order resulted in him picking the all-rounder ahead of Rayudu. However, many including former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting has backed Rishabh Pant to take up the debated position. Speaking on Vijay Shankar, Agarkar said that Shankar is best suited for the role. Besides, he can also chip in with few handy overs when required.
“I have a little surprise with No.4. It is Vijay Shankar. He has shown glimpses of what he can do at the top of the order. Rayudu has been batting there for a while, but in my opinion, Shankar has a more all-round game to fit in that position. Plus, he gives Virat Kohli an option of few overs if needed,” Agarkar told ESPNCricinfo.
Furthermore, Ajit Agarkar also picked Mohammed Shami as Jasprit Bumrah’s new-ball partner ahead of Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Although Shami has come up the ranks in the last few months, Kumar has consistently done well over the years. Explaining his selection, Agarkar said that Shami ability to bowl with both new and old ball give him a nod in the squad.
“At this point in time, Shami’s form and the way he is bowling at different stages of the innings be it with the new ball or the old ball, middle of the innings or end of the innings, he seems to be bowling better than Bhuvneshwar Kumar,” Agarkar concluded.
Ajit Agarkar’s India playing XI for World Cup 2019:
Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Vijay Shankar, MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami.
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