India should have backed Ambati Rayudu at No.4: Gautam Gambhir

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Former India player Gautam Gambhir said Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri should have backed Ambati Rayudu for the No.4 spot instead of dropping him after failures against Australia.

Gautam Gambhir said Ambati Rayudu averages nearly 50 in ODIs and

Gautam Gambhir said Ambati Rayudu averages nearly 50 in ODIs and “hasn’t done anything wrong”. (Reuters Photo)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Gautam Gambhir said Rayudu should have been backed properly for No.4 slot in the Indian team
  • Gambhir felt for a settled batting order in the World Cup, No.4 should be decided beforehand
  • Gambhir questioned the lack of backing for Rayudu

As India’s search for a reliable No. 4 in batting order gets real tricky before the start of the World Cup, former skipper Gautam Gambhir feels a lot of crucial time has already been lost.

“If you want a settled batting order in the World Cup, then the No. 4 has to be decided beforehand and he should be backed completely,” Gambhir opined as the Indian players get ready for an action-packed season of Indian Premier League, followed by the World Cup in England immediately after.

The Indian team management has tried and tested many players at No. 4 in recent times but failed to lock the crucial batting slot.

Gambhir feels that skipper Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri should have backed Ambati Rayudu instead of dropping him after three consecutive failures against Australia in the recent ODI series at home. Rayudu scored 13, 18 and 2 in the first three ODIs against Australia at Hyderabad, Nagpur and Ranchi, respectively.

“You have backed others too. You backed MS Dhoni too last year and even Shikhar Dhawan. Ambati Rayudu averages nearly 50 in ODIs, he hasn’t done anything wrong. Failures are part and parcel of the game. You didn’t drop any other player after two or three failures,” said the former India opener.

The left-hander who scored a World Cup-winning 97 against Sri Lanka at the Wankhede Stadium in the final of the 2011 edition believes tinkering too much with the batting positions of players can unsettle the team in the quadrennial tournament.

“No. 4 should have been a settled position by now. Virat Kohli played the 2011 World Cup at No. 4. Whoever the team management decides to back should be backed to the hilt and they should stay patient with him. It is a very important slot and you can’t have a floater at No 4 because the No. 3 and No. 4 makes the core of your middle order,” Gambhir said.

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