In build up to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 (CWC 2019) India’s number four batting spot saw many contenders auditioning for the role. Eventually, KL Rahul and Vijay Shankar were shortlisted while the likes of Ambati Rayudu and Rishabh Pant were left out. And ahead of the CWC19, during the practice matches, it was right-handed batsman Rahul who cemented his place as the number four batsman. Injured Shikhar Dhawan Under Observation, Says BCCI Amid Speculations of Rishabh Pant Replacing Him in ICC CWC 2019.
It appeared Rahul has ended the debate once and for all. However, after opener Shikhar Dhawan’s injury, the question- who will bat at number four?- has surfaced again. Dhawan suffered a thumb injury during India vs Australia contest after a Nathan Coulter-Nile delivery hit him.
Dhawan, as of now, has been ruled out of the action for three weeks and there is a possibility of him missing the whole World Cup. In Dhawan’s absence, Rahul is likely to be promoted as an opener. And that leaves the number four batting spot vacant.
With Rahul moved up as an opener, India will have to pick either Vijay Shankar or Dinesh Karthik to bat at number four. Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has not named Dhawan’s replacement yet and is likely to wait for some time. Not Rishabh Pant, Ajinkya Rahane Should Replace Injured Shikhar Dhawan in Team India Squad for CWC 2019, Feel Twitterati!.
So, team India will have to choose between Shankar and Karthik. Initially, selectors picked Shankar to bat at number four and Karthik was included in the squad as a backup wicket-keeper. However, Shankar failed to impress in the warm-up matches and at the same time, Rahul did well.
Now it appears Shankar will get another chance to stake a claim at the number four spot. India’s next match is against New Zealand on June 13 at the Trent Bridge and the batting all-rounder might get a game.