India will start their world cup campaign against South Africa on June 5 in Southampton but the number four conundrum is a big puzzle for the team management. India opted for KL Rahul to bat at number four in the first warm-up game against New Zealand, where the Karnataka batsman failed to make it count.
Tamil Nadu all-rounder Vijay Shankar was originally slated to take the number four slot, according to chief selector MSK Prasad, but an injury to his right hand meant he was ruled out of the first warm-up game. It will be interesting to see if India continues to invest in the talent of KL Rahul or choose some alternative option.
Vijay was hit on the right hand by Khaleel Ahmed in the nets on Friday, who came to England as a net bowler. His right hand was later scanned by the medical team and luckily for the Indian fans, chances of fracture was ruled out.
Sanjay Manjrekar makes his pick
The former Mumbai batsman has batted for Vijay Shankar to take the important number four slot for India in the world cup, saying that Rahul is more fancied option as the an opener.
“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,” Manjrekar was quoted as saying by Mumbai Mirror.
Manjrekar further justified his pick by saying that Shankar has spend his career as the middle order batsman, while Rahul has been preferred as an opener.
“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,” Manjrekar added.