‘Anybody can fit in at no.4 spot’ - Sourav Ganguly says India should pick one batter and give him a long run

India's squad for Asia Cup 2023 was announced on August 21.

KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer returned to Indian team for Asia Cup | XFormer captain Sourav Ganguly on August 21 said India has a lot of options for the No 4 position in their ODI side, and stressed that one position alone will not win important tournaments like the World Cup.

On Monday, the BCCI announced a 17-member Indian team squad for the Asia Cup 2023 tournament. The squad sees the return of KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer to the Men in Blue side which many see as the answer to India’s no.4 spot conundrum.

Iyer had occupied that batting position for the better part of the last 2 years before he suffered a back injury for which he had undergone surgery recently. He missed the IPL 2023 and other assignments, but after a lengthy rehab and recovery process, Iyer is fit and raring to go in the Asia Cup 2023.

Ganguly said the team management should zero in on one player and give him a long rope at the No 4 slot.

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India has enormous talent. I keep hearing about this...we don't have this or that but we have too much and that is the problem that we cannot decide. The No 4...Rahul (Dravid), selectors and Rohit (Sharma) need to decide that ‘this is my No 4 and I will continue with him'. One batting slot does not make much of a difference,” Ganguly was quoted by PTI.

Downplaying the debate over the No 4 position, Ganguly said any player can be fitted there.

Number four is just a number and anybody can fit in. I started in the middle-order in one-day cricket and went on to open because I was asked to by Sachin (Tendulkar) as captain. It is the same with Sachin. He batted at six and his captain asked him to open and he became a world-class player. Anybody can play at No 4. There's Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, and KL Rahul,” said Ganguly.

Tilak Varma | XGanguly also opined on the inclusion of Tilak Varma for the first time in ODI setup for the Asia Cup tournament and hoped that the young batsman will make the opportunity count with big runs.

He is good but I think when you play big tournaments, you need a bit more runs under the belt,” he said.

Ganguly opined that wrist spinners will be crucial for India in the coming tournaments.

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We have a very good bowling attack… (Jasprit) Bumrah, (Mohammed) Siraj, (Mohammed) Shami, (Ravindra) Jadeja will play the all-rounder's role and then you have the wrist spinners. I will always pick (Yuzvendra) Chahal, and I will always pick wrist spinners. I do not know what the selectors think but I will always pick wrist spinners,” he said.

Ganguly backed India to come good in the Asia Cup and the subsequent World Cup.

It's a solid team, I keep saying that, (but) I keep hearing 'yaar solid bolte ho, World Cup jeet ta hi nahi hai', aise thodi World Cup har samay jeetega yaar. (You say it is a solid team but does not win the World Cup. You cannot win the World Cup every time),” he said.

I am sure they will at least get to the semifinals (of WC). They entered the Test championship final, which itself is an achievement. Once they get there, they'll cross the bridge. So, I have a lot of time for this team, a lot of faith in this team, and hopefully from the Asia Cup we will see a side which will go all the way (against) Australia and then the World Cup,” he added.

(PTI inputs)


By Jatin Sharma - 21 Aug, 2023

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