Yuvraj Singh points out ‘main reason’ behind India not winning ICC World Cup 2019
The No. 4 batting position has been a major concern for the Indian cricket team in the recent past and they have tried a variety of options to solve that problem. During the ICC World Cup 2019, the quartet of KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant, Vijay Shankar and Dinesh Karthik were tried out in the position but none of them were able to establish themselves as the top choice. Former India all-rounder Yuvraj Singh believes that the team management should have taken care of the issue and pointed it out as the ‘major reason’ behind India not winning the competition.
“You have to identify what is the best talent available and then you have to back that talent. For e.g. me and Mohammad Kaif during the 2003 World Cup. Everybody was failing badly in New Zealand but almost the same team played in the 2003 World Cup. Cut to the 2019 WC team: I was dropped, then Manish Pandey came in, then after 1-2 more players KL (Rahul) was also tried, (Suresh) Raina came back and then they went with Rayudu who played for 8-9 months and scored a 90 in NZ.
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“Before the WC, we lost to Australia and Rayudu had a bad tournament and suddenly Vijay Shankar came in. The selectors should have understood the importance of the No. 4 position, especially in England. Vijay Shankar and Rishabh Pant didn’t have that experience. Dinesh Karthik was an experienced guy but was sitting out and suddenly goes to bat in the semis. So I really didn’t understand the thinking. I think that was the main reason why India didn’t win the WC. I thought India and England were the best teams and there is no reason that India shouldn’t have played the final,” Yuvraj told Aaj Tak.
During the World Cup semi-final encounter against New Zealand, India restricted their opponents to 239/8. But chasing the modest 240 for a place in the final, India’s top order was blown away by the Kiwi bowlers led by Matt Henry (3/37) on the reserve day.India lost Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, and Dinesh Karthik for just 24 runs inside 10 overs before Ravindra Jadeja (77) and Dhoni (50) shared a 116-run seventh wicket stand to raise hopes of an unlikely victory. However, it wasn’t enough in the end as India fell short by 18 runs.
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Dhoni, who had pretty much batted at No. 5 all throughout the World Cup, was surprisingly sent in to bat after Dinesh Karthik and Hardik Pandya. Yuvraj said that he was taken aback by the decision and he believes that Dhoni should have batted higher up the order. “I was very surprised that MS came in to bat at No. 7. I felt that he should have batted higher being the most experienced. I don’t know what the team management thought. Anyways it’s done now,” said Yuvraj.
(With agency inputs)