MS Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh were arguably the best players in their respective categories for India. The Indian team has faced challenges in the middle-order for a considerable period. Following Dhoni’s retirement, several players have been experimented with in the finisher’s role, but only a few have managed to gain the approval of selectors and team management.
Similarly, since Yuvraj Singh left the team, the No. 4 position has remained a significant puzzle. Among those who have performed well in the middle-order after Dhoni and Yuvraj’s departures, KL Rahul stands out as the impressive choice.
Ashwin made an exclusive statement: “Ever since Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni retired, India were desperately looking for a replacement. Rahul has filled that slot with expertise. He is a definite lock at No.5 and is also our wicketkeeper-batsman Before Pant’s injury, Rahul was second in line and now Ishan Kishan is the second keeper, he has grabbed that opportunity with both hands. Rahul has some niggle but hopefully, he will be ready for the first game. If he is not we have an 18-member travelling with squad in Sanju Samson.”
“Shreyas Iyer is as important as KL Rahul to this side” – R Ashwin
R Ashwin also heaped considerable admiration on Shreyas Iyer. In his opinion, Iyer continues to be India’s top option for the No. 4 spot, even with Tilak Varma being added to the Asia Cup squad.
He further added: “Shreyas Iyer is as important as KL Rahul to this side. One of the best players in the Indian line-up against spin and a consistent No.4 for India. He has played a crucial part in their success whenever he has played at 4. If he is completely fit to play, there should be no debate on No. 4 position.”
The management of the Indian team would surely desire that both Rahul and Iyer stay completely healthy, particularly considering their significance for the upcoming ODI World Cup.