Middle-order has been a problem for the Indian team for a long time. After MS Dhoni’s retirement, a number of players have been tried in the finisher’s role but not many have been able to convince the selectors and team managment. As for the No. 4 spot, since Yuvraj Singh’s exit from the team, there remains a big conundrum over the position. For Ravichandran Ashwin, the man who has been able impress in the middle-order since Dhoni and Yuvraj’s departures, is KL Rahul.
“Ever since Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni retired, India were desperately looking for a replacement. Rahul has filled that slot with expertise. He is a definite lock at No.5 and is also our wicketkeeper-batsman,” Ashwin said in a video on his YouTube channel.
“Before Pant’s injury, Rahul was second in line and now Ishan Kishan is the second keeper, he has grabbed that opportunity with both hands. Rahul has some niggle but hopefully, he will be ready for the first game. If he is not we have an 18-member travelling with squad in Sanju Samson,” Ashwin added.
Ashwin also lavished huge praise on Shreyas Iyer, who according to him, remains India’s best bet at the No. 4 position despite Tilak Varma’s inclusion in the Asia Cup squad.
“Shreyas Iyer is as important as KL Rahul to this side. One of the best players in the Indian line-up against spin and a consistent No.4 for India. He has played a crucial part in their success whenever he has played at 4. If he is completely fit to play, there should be no debate on No. 4 position,” Ashwin asserted.
The Indian team management would hope both Rahul and Iyer remain fully fit, especially keeping their importance for the ODI World Cup in mind.