ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: Ravi Shastri says India have enough players who can bat at No 4, all bases in team are covered

Ravi Shastri stated that the Indian team management would follow a 'horses for course' policy when it came to the No 4 spot, and added that the side had all their bases covered heading into the 12th edition of the Cricket World Cup.

FirstCricket Staff, May 14, 2019 15:58:30 IST

After spending more than a month on the sidelines relaxing at home and watching the Indian Premier League (IPL), it's time for India head coach Ravi Shastri to get back to work as the 'Men in Blue' ready themselves for the ICC World Cup 2019.

The members of the 15-man India squad will have a moment to breathe after getting done with a hectic IPL season, one that saw opener Rohit Sharma lead the Mumbai Indians to a fourth title victory against veteran keeper-batsman MS Dhoni's Chennai Super Kings.

File image of India head coach Ravi Shastri. Sportzpics

File image of India head coach Ravi Shastri. Sportzpics

Over the course of the tournament, there have been a number of talking points, including an injury to batting all-rounder Kedar Jadhav and the dip in form of chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav.

Shastri, though, isn't one to worry about the team permutations and combinations, or injuries and loss of form for that matter, before even boarding the flight for the United Kingdom.

"It doesn't worry me at all. In-fact I am totally blanked out from that. When the flight takes off on the 22nd, we will see who are the 15 on that. Yeah? And just take it from there," said Shastri in an interview on Cricketnext.

"I don't think there's anything to resolve. It's just soaking in the atmosphere, believing in the combinations that we will plan and decide going into those practice games as a lead up to the World Cup and believe in that," added Shastri.

There has been plenty of debate in the last few months over the No 4 spot in the India World Cup team. Several batsmen had been tried at that spot over the years, and Ambati Rayudu was one backed by the team management to seal that spot for himself.

However, a steady decline of form saw him fall out of favour with the MSK Prasad-led selection panel, that picked batting all-rounder Vijay Shankar and backed him for that spot instead.

Shastri, though, had a different take on the No 4 topic.

"...for me we are a flexible team. It’s horses for courses, we have got enough ammunition there, enough players who can bat at 4. So, I am not really worried about that," added the India coach.

Shastri, a veteran of 80 Tests and 150 ODIs, felt that the Indian travel party is one that's got all its bases covered and that there are no passengers in the 15-member contingent.

"I think we have got all bases covered, really. The last thing you want is passengers on the tour. You want to have in those 15 players a player who can play anytime, at any given time. He shouldn't be in the 15 and could be called upon only if there is an injury," added Shastri, who refused to comment on his future as India coach beyond the World Cup.

The 12th edition of the ICC World Cup kicks off on 30 May with hosts England taking on South Africa in the opening fixture at The Oval. India face the Proteas in their season opener on 5 June at Southampton, and are scheduled to take on Australia, New Zealand and Pakistan in their next three fixtures.

Two-time champions India and top-ranked England are the two sides heavily favoured to lift the trophy later this summer. Defending champions Australia have been bolstered by the return of Steve Smith and David Warner and their performances have started to pick up in the last three months. Teams such as West Indies too have been marked by many experts as dark horses.

For all the latest news, opinions and analysis from ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, click here

Updated Date: May 14, 2019 15:58:30 IST


Pos. Team P W L D Pts.
14 9 5 0 18
14 9 5 0 18
14 9 5 0 18
14 6 8 0 12
14 6 8 0 12
14 6 8 0 12
14 5 8 0 11
14 5 8 0 11
See Full Table

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3663 105
5 Australia 2640 98
6 Sri Lanka 3462 94
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 5372 125
2 India 5669 121
3 South Africa 4488 115
4 New Zealand 3729 113
5 Australia 4342 109
6 Pakistan 3846 94
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 Australia 5471 261
5 India 7273 260
6 New Zealand 4056 254