Former Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Secretary, Sanjay Jagdale on Saturday said that in his opinion Ajinkya Rahane should have been the number four batsman in the team's World Cup squad as he brings solidarity to the lineup. "In my opinion, the Indian team needs a batsman like Ajinkya Rahane at number four. We have tried many options at the batting position for the past three months. We tried those batsmen who did not have a good record overseas. Rahane has always scored good runs in England," Jagdale told ANI.
The Indian team tried many options at the number four batting slot before the World Cup. Ambati Rayudu was given a consistent run at the batting position, but when the squad was announced Vijay Shankar was named in the squad. But Shankar failed to leave a mark and later he was ruled out of the tournament due to a toe niggle. Rishabh Pant replaced him in the squad. Jagdale said that both Pant and Rahane should have been given consistent run in the ODI side as they have a good overseas record.
"Rishabh Pant also scored a Test hundred in England. He even went on to make a Test hundred in Australia. But the ODI series against Australia, both Pant and Rahane did not feature in the series," Jagdale said. "We tried Dinesh Karthik, Ambati Rayudu, and Vijay Shankar. Karthik and Rayudu have been playing since 2003 but they haven't been to establish themselves yet. If they haven't established themselves yet, we should have looked at other options. I have been advocating for three months now that Rahane should be number four. Pant should have been also named in the original squad as he is the future," he added.
The Indian team was knocked out of the World Cup as the side lost against New Zealand by 18 runs in the semi-final. Jagdale said that the better team came out triumphant on that day and the Men in Blue did not play bad cricket. "The better team won on that day. It's not like we played bad cricket. There was a small patch where we did not execute our skills better, New Zealand bowled exceptionally well. Indian team played a good brand of cricket throughout the tournament," Jagdale said.
The Virat-Kohli led side failed to chase down 240 in the semi-final. The Indian team had gotten off to a bad start in pursuit of the target as their opening three batsmen were sent to the pavilion with just five runs on the board. Ravindra Jadeja and MS Dhoni tried their best to revive the innings, but their dismissals paved the way for a Kiwi win. Jadeja was dismissed for 77 whereas Dhoni was sent back to the pavilion after playing a knock of 50 runs.
In the other semi-final, England defeated Australia by eight wickets to enter the finals. With England and New Zealand set to lock horns in the finals, a new World Cup winner is guaranteed as these two sides have never won the tournament before.
England takes on New Zealand in the final on July 14 at Lord's Cricket Ground. (ANI)
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