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‘Who Said we Don’t Have a No. 4?’: Sourav Ganguly Dismisses India’s Batting Concerns, Suggests Tilak Varma as Viable Option – News18

Sourav Ganguly thinks Tilak Varma can be a good middle order ODI batter. (AFP Photo)

Sourav Ganguly thinks India have enough quality batters for the ODI World Cup.

It’s been four years since India made a semifinals exit from the 2019 ODI World Cup. One of the major talking points throughout that event was India’s inability to find a reliable batter for no. 4 spot.

One would expect to find a solution to that muddle but ahead of the 2023 ODI World Cup, India are faced with a similar conundrum.

Not that India have lacked quality option – Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant are world-class batters. Unfortunately, neither is fully fit as of this date.

While Pant is not expected to get full fitness for the marquee event, latest reports have raised hopes on the availability of Iyer and Rahul.

However, India will want both Iyer and Rahul to be fit to shore up their middle order.

Rahul is said to have also started wicketkeeping at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru while a call on Iyer will be taken soon.

In the scenario of Iyer not available, do India have a reliable replacement?

India legend Sourav Ganguly thinks so.

“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 an event in Kolkata.

In fact, he suggested 20-year-old Tilak Varma as an option despite the youngster making his international debut earlier this month.

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

Ganguly says India should pick a squad for the world cup that should have a mixture of old and young players.

“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,” the former BCCI president said.

Ganguly said the return of Bumrah is a positive sign.

“I’ve spoken to some players at the NCA, and they said he’s at his best…Bumrah was bowling at almost 90 miles per hour the other day. That’s great news for Indian cricket,” said the former India captain.

He also praised India’ bowling attack.

“With Bumrah, (Mohammed) Shami, (Mohammed) Siraj, they have a fantastic attack to go with (Ravindra) Jadeja, Axar (Patel), Kuldeep (Yadav); they have enormous talent. How can that team be unsettled?” Ganguly said.

“It’s just that they played new players in the West Indies and you will see that by the time the World Cup comes, and when they pick the team, it will be a top side. It’s about how you play during that tournament,” he added.

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