Disappointed at what happened with Ambati Rayudu: Yuvraj Singh
Yuvraj Singh (AFP Photo)

India‘s failure to settle on a batsman for the no. 4 spot continues to haunt them, attracting sharp criticism. Yuvraj Singh, who recently retired from international cricket, has added his voice to the debate surrounding the much talked about batting position saying it was hard to decipher what the Indian team management was thinking.

India’s ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 campaign ended in the semi-finals where they lost to New Zealand after their top order collapsed. During the tournament, they tried multiple players at No. 4 including KL Rahul, Vijay Shankar before finally settling on Rishabh Pant.

Yuvraj, the man-of-the-tournament during the 2011 World Cup, feels India should have stuck to one player.

“The team management should have groomed someone. If someone was failing at No. 4, the team management should have told that player that he was going to play the World Cup. Like in 2003 World Cup, we were playing New Zealand before the tournament, everybody was failing. But the same team played in the World Cup,” Yuvraj was quoted as saying by The Times of India.

Few months ahead of the world cup, Ambati Rayudu was being talked up as the top candidate for the no. 4 spot before being snubbed after a slump in form. A frustrated Rayudu recently announced his retirement from all forms of cricket.

Yuvraj, too, is not impressed with the treatment meted out to the middle-order batsman. “It was disappointing to watch what they did with Rayudu. He was in the contention for the World Cup. He got runs in New Zealand but after three or four bad innings, he got dropped,” he said.

He continued, “And then Rishabh came in and he got dropped. If No. 4 is a crucial position in ODI cricket, if you want someone to do well in that position, you will have to back him. You can’t drop someone if he is unable to do well all the time.

“In between, the team had also tried Dinesh Karthik. Finally, we don’t know what their plan was for No. 4. They backed Rishabh again, he actually did well. If Rohit and Virat would get out early, we could get into trouble and everyone knew about that. We needed a solid No. 4. I didn’t understand the idea behind their plans.”

“I also feel quite sad about Rayudu that he retired. It is unfortunate how they dealt with the whole situation. You are looking to go and play the World Cup and suddenly you don’t find a place.”