Yuvraj Singh, who recently retired from all forms of cricket, said that India didn’t plan properly for the no.4 spot for the 2019 World Cup in which the team lost to New Zealand in the Semi Final by 18 runs.
The southpaw himself was a crucial member of the Indian middle order and was one of the key architects in helping India lift the ICC World Cup 2011. Apart from Yuvraj Singh, another left-hander Suresh Raina had been a consistent performer for Team India in the middle order before he was ousted for reasons best known to the team management.
After the exit of Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina, India had tried several players in the middle order but none of them were given a consistent run.
Despite the wrong selections, Team India was still the favourite to win the World Cup as per the various betting promotions and predictions considering the quality of its top order and the range of bowlers it had. The selectors erred big time while deciding on the squad for the World Cup 2019 which just didn’t have any experienced middle order batsmen, who could win matches on their own.
Kedar Jadhav was picked because of his unorthodox bowling more than his batting ability it seemed, while Dinesh Karthik, who was in as an alternative wicketkeeper, was in the squad based on a few cameos here and there, rather than any big knock. The selectors felt that Dinesh Karthik can finish matches under pressure and despite having a modest batting average was selected ahead of genuine middle order batsmen with solid batting performances in domestic cricket.
Rishabh Pant was overlooked originally but eventually made it to the World Cup squad following the injury to Shikhar Dhawan. Vijay Shankar was drafted into the playing XI in the place of Shikhar Dhawan against Pakistan where he did pick a key wicket to help India overcome the absence of the injured Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Both Vijay Shankar and Rishabh Pant, despite their huge inexperience, were asked to play in the middle order at crucial spots which in the past were owned by serious match winners.
Speaking to Times of India, Yuvraj Singh indicated that Ambati Rayudu could have been persisted with after getting some decent runs. However, Ambati Rayudu was discarded after three or four poor scores. The right-hander harmed his chances further by mocking the selection of Vijay Shankar which certainly didn’t go well with the selectors.
Until the top order batsmen got the runs, Team India was doing well and eventually the law of averages caught up during the semi-final against New Zealand with the first three out for nothing on the board which meant that even a target of 240 became very challenging. India towards the end had to pay the price for its illogical selection.