Among the post mortem conducted for India’s campaign in the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy, one clear aspect came to the fore. The experienced duo of Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni didn’t quite live up to the expectations and their presence in the middle order failed to capitalise on the starts provided by India’s ever magnificent top three.
With Yuvraj batting at four and followed by Dhoni, the likes of Kedar Jadhav and Hardik Pandya have to bat lower, which means their talent isn’t fully utilised. Jadhav in the last few months has emerged as a mighty fine batsman for India, impressing every time when given a chance. To add to that, the intent and batting prowess displayed by Hardik Pandya in the final against Pakistan, there is enough evidence to suggest the all-rounder can indeed bat at number
Former Indian captain, Rahul Dravid does believe that Jadhav is capable enough of batting higher up the order at four or maybe five. During a conversation with ESPN Cricinfo, the legendary yesteryear batsman mentioned that using Jadhav and Pandya so low was a disservice to the entire team.
“If he (Jadhav) wants to establish himself in the side, should he be the No. 4?” Dravid said. “Should he actually not be sort of almost hiding at No. 6 and actually be given the opportunity to bat at four and see what he can do” If he steps up, great; if he doesn’t, then might have to look somewhere else.”
“Kedar Jadhav is batting too low when you have someone like Hardik Pandya, who has been a find, and someone Indian cricket needs to protect and give a lot more opportunities with the bat a lot more. He is bowling his overs. He needs to be batting at four, five in certain games, just so that you can develop him, and to have that kind of allrounder is great for India,” said Dravid.
Former pacer Ajit Agarkar reflected Dravid’s thoughts and said that Yuvraj and MS Dhoni weren’t quite up to the mark.
“I am not quite sure MS and Yuvraj can both bat at 4 and 5,” Agarkar said. “It is not because of the final; it is almost putting too much pressure on the top three to get the bulk of the runs. Maybe Yuvraj is better off batting lower down at this stage than at No. 4, where he can go and bat freely.”