Former Australia batsman Dean Jones believes former India skipper M.S. Dhoni, and not Vijay Shankar, should bat at the number four spot in the remaining matches of the ongoing World Cup.
Jones is also of the view that India should include left-arm all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja as he gives the team an extra spin option which can come in handy as the pitches are getting slower towards the business end of the tournament in England.
“Normally I don’t like touching the team when it’s flying and India is flying at the moment but I have got a concern with the player at number four. I have no problem with M.S. Dhoni going there and Jadeja coming in a little later which gives you a spin option,” said Jones at the Philips Hue Cricket Live show for Star Sports.
“I think the pitches are getting a little more tired as the tournament progresses so you need that left-hander down there to help you a little bit. But I’ll have faith and give it one more go,” he added.
Earlier, Virat Kohli’s deputy Rohit Sharma had also said that Dhoni should bat at the number four spot as that it is the “ideal” position for the wicketkeeper-batsman.
Meanwhile, all-rounder Irfan Pathan believes Dinesh Karthik should be included in the playing XI and he should bat at number four.
“I know many people would have the mindset that the winning combination shouldn’t be changed, however, I feel differently. Vijay Shankar hasn’t done anything and if we come to the position of playing in the semifinals, we are going to be facing the top quality bowling line up and if we lose early wickets, we need someone solid at number four and I prefer Dinesh Karthik at that position,” said Pathan.
“So if any changes need to be done, they need to be done from now on because you don’t want someone to come in and play just one game before the semifinal. You want to give that particular batsman at least three innings and we have only three games left and Vijay Shankar has got enough chances and he is not even bowling regularly for Team India so you might as well get a proper batsman who has had some sort of an experience and success at batting at number four or number five and for me that pick would be Dinesh Karthik,” he added.
So far, the Indian team have been in impeccable form and are the only unbeaten side in the tournament. Both batting and bowling seem to be in control and the only weak spot in the team is the performance of Shankar, especially with the bat at the crucial number four spot.
Shankar has not been able to contribute much with the bat and as a result the team has found itself in a spot, especially in the last two matches where India posted 224 and 268 runs respectively and it were the bowlers which won the games for the Men in Blue against Afghanistan and West Indies.
India will look to continue their winning run and confirm their berth in the semifinals when they meet hosts England in their next outing on Sunday.