Shastri discloses why India played different batsmen: The Indian coach was vocal about India playing several batsmen at Number 4.
Commenced in 2015, the Indian cricket team’s search for a No. 4 batsman in ODIs is still relevant. Despite numerous candidates applying for the same post, not one has been able to stake a long-term claim.
The build-up to the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 saw the most desperate phase in the search of a No. 4 batsman. Despite zeroing in on one candidate, adjusting to injuries, situations and conditions saw India playing as many as four batsmen at No. 4 in this World Cup.
Shastri discloses why India played different batsmen at No. 4
India coach Ravi Shastri has admitted that India needed a “solid” batsman especially in opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan’s absence in the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. Speaking in an interview with Indian Express, Shastri also talked about India playing several batsmen at No. 4 during the tournament.
“In hindsight, yes, we did need a solid batsman out there in the middle order. But now, that’s something for the future. That’s a position that was always giving us problems, but we just couldn’t nail it. [KL] Rahul was there but then Shikhar Dhawan got injured. Then Vijay Shankar was there, and he got injured. We just couldn’t control it,” Shastri was quoted as saying.
Memories.. memories to last a lifetime. My first World Cup didn’t have the ending we wanted but it’s given me so many emotions and lessons that I’ll always keep with me. Thank you to everyone part of this special team including you the fans, we’re nothing without you 🇮🇳❤ pic.twitter.com/ZfECdrL2Rt
— hardik pandya (@hardikpandya7) July 11, 2019
On Mayank Agarwal
India had handed a maiden call-up to opening batsman Mayank Agarwal as a replacement for injured all-rounder Vijay Shankar. On being asked if Agarwal was in the plans to play at No. 4, Shastri didn’t deny the same but also added a time constraint going against the move.
“Not really, because it got too tight. By the time Mayank [Agarwal] came to join us, there wasn’t much time. If there was one more game, that is, if this semi-final was a game later, we would have definitely done it. He flew in, and Rahul had just hit a 60, and then a hundred,” Shastri said.
Before concluding, Shastri eulogized about the Indian cricketers and their performance in the last two years. While he confessed that India struggled big time for 30 minutes in the semi-final, he expressed pride for his players who according to him formed the “best team” in the last two years.
“Walk out with your heads held high. Be proud. Those 30 minutes can’t erase the fact that you guys have been the best team in the last couple of years. You guys know it.
“One tournament, one series — and that, too, 30 minutes of play can’t decide that. You guys have earned that respect. Of course, we are all hurt and disappointed but, in the end, be proud of what you have done for the last two years,” Shastri concluded.