Ahead of the Asia Cup and subsequent World Cup, India have been looking for options in the middle order of the ODI series, but the number four slot remains available.
Knowing it was their last chance to test players before the two multi-team events, skipper Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli did not bat in the series and watched the action from the sidelines.
With the series going down to the wire, the move was criticized but allowed the likes of Ishan Kishan, Sanju Samson and Suryakumar Yadav to make a strong case.
Before the start of the series, Samson and Kishan were seen as contenders for the wicketkeeper’s spot, but by the end of it, the latter emerged as a strong contender for the reserve spot, with Rohit and Shubman Gill opening for Asia. Cup.
Rohit’s absence allowed Kisan to open in all three games and he made the most of the opportunity with scores of 52, 55 and 77.
Samson, who is used to being in and out of the side, took two innings to deliver under pressure and his impressive 51 off 41 balls in the series-deciding third ODI game proved his rare talent.
More was expected from him in the next T20 series but they couldn’t measure up. However, the team is likely to carry him at least until the Asian Cup, if not the World Cup.
With his absence KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar was required to play ace in the middle order audition but the T20 batting master did not live up to expectations.
Considering what he can do for the team in the middle overs, it will be difficult for the management to ignore him for the World Cup 15.
Even if Rahul and Iyer regain full fitness in time for the Asia Cup starting on August 31, the team will need to be convinced of their form in the middle after a long injury absence.
“Look, No. 4 has been an issue for us for a long time. For a long time, Shreyas has been at No. 4 and he has done well – his numbers are really good,” Indian skipper Rohit said. his return to the country last week.
“There were so many guys who came in and out. But injuries kept them out or they weren’t available or someone lost their form. Shreyas and KL are going without playing anything for four months, big injuries, probably surgeries. .
“I know, I had to have surgery once and how I feel afterwards, it’s very difficult. We have to see how they respond, what they do.”
Tilak Varma emerges as a dark horse in middle order
The 20-year-old, who was picked only for the T20s, showed remarkable poise and maturity on his debut for India. To hit an express pace bowler like Alzarri Joseph for back-to-back sixes for his first runs in international cricket spoke of his special ability.
He only got better as the series progressed and played a huge role in India’s counter-attack in the T20 series before the Hardik Pandya-led side lost the series decider on Sunday.
The cricketing world took notice of Varma’s arrival on the big stage, including the great and visionary R Ashwin who backed the youngster to join the World Cup squad as an X factor player.
Kuldeep Yadav continues to be India’s go to spinner
Kuldeep Yadav cemented his reputation as India’s go-to bowler for wickets in the middle overs. The left-arm wrist spinner took seven wickets in three ODIs, putting himself well ahead of his good friend Yuzvendra Chahal in pecking order.
Medium pacer and Mukesh Kumar did the job with the new ball in the Caribbean’s slow wickets.
Umran Malik, whose raw pace has generated huge interest, got another chance on the big stage but failed to step up. Since making his debut last June, the 23-year-old has failed to raise his game.
As the great Brian Lara said recently, mere pace is not enough to trouble the best in the business and it is time for Malik to add tricks to his bowling.
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