No Batsman Has Shown the Promise to be a Consistent Number Four – Sanjay Manjrekar
Former Indian batsman Sanjay Manjrekar has stated that no batsman has shown the right promise to be a consistent number four for the India National Cricket Team. The Indian team management has played a musical chair game for the number four position, however, no batsman has been successful in sitting on the chair for a long time.
In fact, Ambati Rayudu has shown the promise to be India’s number four for the World Cup. Rayudu has done a good job while batting at the troublesome position as he has an average of 42 in the last 15 matches. However, the right-hander had three flop innings in the first three matches against Australia. Subsequently, he was dropped/rested (howsoever the think tank defines it) from the last two matches.
India hasn’t yet solved the number four riddle.
Meanwhile, Sanjay Manjrekar believes it is crucial to have a settled playing XI for the success of the team. The former Mumbai batsman is not impressed by the captaincy of Virat Kohli.
Sanjay Manjrekar wrote in his column for ESPN Cricinfo, “This team management does have the tendency to go a little overboard with their chopping and changing. Maybe this is Kohli’s tendency more than anyone else’s. His decisions appear very similar to how he looks on the field – intense, animated, very energetic, almost restless”.
On the other hand, Manjrekar said there was a difference in the leadership of MS Dhoni. The former Indian skipper was known to back the settled playing XI.
“Dhoni’s calm and restful demeanour on the field reflected his team selections. He hardly made any changes to his team when he was India captain. In the last IPL, his championship-winning Chennai Super Kings was one of the most settled XIs of the tournament.
“Meanwhile, Kohli rarely plays the same side in two consecutive games”.
Meanwhile, India had a settled squad when Suresh Raina and Yuvraj Singh were at the peak of their career. However, the Men in Blue is yet to find a batsman of the same calibre.
Yuvraj and Suresh Raina had delivered the goods.
“That India still doesn’t have obvious and exciting Nos. 4 and 5, like Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina when they were around, is more the fault of players who have been given these chances than those who gave it to them”.
In fact, Manjrekar further wrote that no other batsman has grabbed his chances with both hands. India’s conundrum for the number four position has been there for the last two years and there is yet no solution to the woes.
“Not one of the seven to eight players tried in those positions has shown exceptional ability and, importantly, consistency in their performances in the most batting-friendly format. For a batting country like India, this is as surprising as it’s disappointing”.
Manjrekar also picked his choice for the number four and five positions. The former batsman wants to bat Vijay Shankar and Kedar Jadhav at number four and five respectively.
“My choice for Nos. 4 and 5 are Vijay and Jadhav respectively, but I must confess I pick them a bit grudgingly”.
India is likely to bat Ambati Rayudu at number four in the World Cup. The two-times champions will begin their World Cup against South Africa at Southampton on June 5.
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