Home Cricket World Cup 2019 2019 World Cup preview: India - One of the favourites but the much debated “Number 4” remains a concern

2019 World Cup preview: India – One of the favourites but the much debated “Number 4” remains a concern

India has the best batting lineup but the middle order remains a concern. Could that hurt in the tournament? An analysis of what options team India has to tackle this problem.

India is one of the favourites going into the showpiece event of world cricket in England, and for very good reasons. They have the most successful opening pair in world cricket right now, they have the best batsman in the world, one of the best finishers in the game’s history, they have the best fast bowler in the world, and they have an exciting spin duo that can deliver wickets during the crucial middle overs of an innings.

However, despite having most bases covered, one area for concern that remains with this Indian side is the middle order, the butt of long running jokes on Social Media. Since the Champions Trophy final defeat in June 2017, India tried a number of batsmen at the number 4 spot before deciding on KL Rahul and Vijay Shankar as the 2 options for this World Cup. Between them, they have played 23 ODIs with limited success, Rahul averages 13 at Number 4 in his 3 games there while Shankar has batted 5 times in total in ODIs, none of them at Number 4, where he will be expected to slot in if he makes it to the playing XI ahead of Rahul.

MS Dhoni at 5 seems to be gaining some of his old form back this year after a lean 2018. He is averaging 82 in ODIs this year, though with a much lower strike rate than his career numbers. However, as he showed during the IPL, he can still bring out the big hits at the death when required. India will be hoping desperately that he continues in that rich vein of form for another 6 weeks.

- Ad - - article resumes -

Happily for India, Kedar Jadhav has been declared fit for the World Cup. Jadhav is a crucial component of this team structure, being the only batsman among Indian 4-5-6 who can score at a 100+ strike rate right from the start, and his strange bowling provides a valuable option to the Captain during the middle stages. Whether he remains injury free for the entirety of the tournament remains a big question mark as he doesn’t have a great fitness record till now.

The premier Indian all-rounder, Hardik Pandya’s form in the IPL must have been so heart-warming for the team management. After a rough start to the year when his career went into a limbo thanks to a Koffee With Karan episode, Pandya has made a strong comeback for the national team followed by some breath-taking performances in the IPL on the way to the title.

In the bowling department, India boasts of one of the best bowling line-ups in this World Cup spearheaded by World’s Number 1 bowler Jasprit Bumrah. The spin twins Kuldeep and Chahal have been irresistible since they came together for India and have almost always delivered wickets when the Captain needed. Mohammed Shami has been in great form recently, and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, after a lean 2018, has been showing signs of returning to form, though you expect Shami to get into the XI ahead of him on current form.

One would back India to be in the Semi-finals at the end of the round robin league with the quality that they have in their ranks. However, at the back-end of the tournament, much will depend on the form of the top 3 if they have to win the whole thing. If 2 out of the top 3 click, nothing is impossible for this side as they have shown repeatedly over the last few years.

India’s squad: Virat Kohli (Captain), Rohit Sharma (vice-captain), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Vijay Shankar, MS Dhoni (wicket-keeper), Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami

Help Opindia Reach Every Indian. Share This Post
We need your support to survive in the media industry. Please consider paying us for the content we produce:

To know more about these payments, please click here.


Advertisement

Big Story

The reportage of Aaj Tak journalist Anjana Om Kashyap and TV Bharatvarsh journalist Ajit Anjum raised concerns of how bullish and high-handed the media was being with unsuspecting doctors who were only doing their job.

2019 World Cup Is Here!

Catch the latest on Cricket World Cup as it unfolds, special coverage by Opindia

Nusrat Jahan, the newly elected MP in Parliament

Islamists attack newly elected TMC MP Nusrat Jahan for wearing Sindoor in parliament

Nusrat Jahan was under fire from Islamists online for embracing Hindu custom of applying sindoor in the Parliament

‘Dara Hua Musalman’? Here is a list of 50 hate crimes that busts the narrative

In this article, we document a list of hate crimes committed by Muslims since 2016 which would dispel the narrative of 'Dara Hua Musalman'.

TMC MP Nusrat Jahan takes oath in name of ‘Ishwar’, ends with ‘Vande Mataram’

Samajwadi Party leader, Shafiqur Rahman Barq, had stirred controversy by saying in Parliament that Vande Mataram is against Islam

Tausif Imran Khan repeatedly raped class X girl in Vadodara, took her to religious places to brainwash and convert her

19-year-old Tausif Imran Khan, a class XII student who lived in Manjalpur, has been booked under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act for sexually exploiting a minor.
Park Street rape case had brought the ugly face of TMC government out

TMC’s candidate Nusrat Jahan, Mamata Banerjee and their connection with the infamous Park Street rape case

Actress Nusrat Jahan was in a relationship with one of the main accused of the Park Street rape case. Her role in shielding and helping the accused, Kader Khan, was questioned by many.

Congress gave a full toss to Modi, Modi hit the ball out of the stadium

Speaking for the first time in the Parliament after the BJP-led NDA government was voted back to power with a thumping majority, PM Modi responded to Congress Lok Sabha leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury's remarks. 
Evangelists going jobless

Evangelists left jobless after Modi government’s crackdown on foreign funds, Pentecostals in Kerala severely affected

Pastors are unable to repay their loans as they stopped receiving their monthly salary for their gospel work
Binoy kodiyeri Islam

Journalist advices Kerala CPM chief’s rape accused son to convert to Islam to solve his problems

The journalist claimed that having two wives wasn't a problem in Islam citing the example of the actor Dharmendra
Cow image

Karnataka: Cow smuggler dies on the spot after stolen cow hits him in the groin

The post mortem further confirmed that the accused died on the spot after the cow he stole hit him on private parts.

Read why Bharat Yadav was trending on Twitter as people mourned death of Tabrez Ansari

Just as beating up someone from another faith and forcing them to chant 'Jai Shree Ram' is wrong and should be punishable so is beating up someone and calling them 'kaafirs'.
Subscribe to Day's Top Stories
- Advertisment -

Latest articles

Connect with us

172,071FansLike
151,606FollowersFollow
70,293SubscribersSubscribe
Help Opindia Reach Every Indian. Share This Post