Cricket

‘Who said India don’t have a No.4? Rohit, Dravid should…’: Ganguly’s two smashing selections for Asia Cup and World Cup

Sourav Ganguly said India plenty of options for the No.4 spot in the Asia Cup and World Cup.

Captain Rohit Sharma and a host of other former cricketers and experts said India have been struggling to find a suitable No.4 ever since Yuvraj Singh retired from cricket but Sourav Ganguly doesn’t think so. The former India captain said there are plenty of options and the most prominent one is young Tilak Varma, who has had a sparkling introduction to international cricket in the West Indies.

Shreyas Iyer is India’s first-choice No.4 in ODIs but there is still no clarity on whether the right-hander has recovered fully from his back injury that kept him away from cricket for four months now. Iyer did go through match simulations at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru but there is still some doubt over his availability, especially for a tournament like Asia Cup.

Ganguly said India should back Tilak Varma as an option at No.4 for the Asia Cup and also the World Cup in October if the left-hander does well.C

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“Who said we don’t have a No. 4? We have so many (batsmen) who can bat at that spot. I think differently; my mindset is different. This is a fantastic side,” Ganguly said on the sidelines of a Denver event where he was announced as the ‘Brand Face.’

“I see Tilak Varma as an option, being a left-hander,” the former BCCI president said, highlighting Tilak’s adaptability and fearless approach to the game.

The 20-year-old left-hander made an impressive 22-ball 39 on his T20I debut against the West Indies, followed by scores of 51 and 49 not out in his next two outings. Tilak, however, got out for a golden duck after getting caught down the leg side in the first T20I against Ireland on Friday.

Ganguly further mentioned that the left-handed trio of Yashasvi Jaiswal (back-up opener), Ishan Kishan (wicketkeeper-batter), and Varma can play fearless cricket and they should be picked when selectors announce India’s World Cup squad before the September 5 deadline.

“He (Tilak) is a very good young player, not with much experience, but it does not matter. I also want to see the young left-hander (Yashasvi Jaiswal) in the side at the top of the order. He has enormous ability and he’s fearless. So, this is a great side,” said Ganguly.

Ganguly said the Indian team should be a mix of experienced players and fresh faces.

“It has to be a team of experience and people who don’t have any scars — like Jaiswal, Varma, Ishan Kishan. They can go and play fearless cricket. Rahul (Dravid), Rohit and the selectors have plenty of choices; they just have to identify and pick the best XI,” he said.

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