Former India batsman Yuvraj Singh has questioned the Indian team management's approach prior to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 and during the tournament. Going into the World Cup, the No 4 spot was the biggest concern for the Indian team. The thought was to find a steady hand for when Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli departed from the middle.
With India exiting the tournament in the semi-finals, after losing by 18 runs to New Zealand, it is the conundrum for No 4 that has been highlighted.
"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 told Times of India.
Yuvi also expressed disappointment with how things panned out with Ambati Rayudu. The CSK batsman was persisted with for a while before being dropped completely. Rayudu recently retired from cricket in what came as a surprise announcement. "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," Yuvraj said. "And then Rishabh (Pant) 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," Yuvraj said.
"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."