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Middle-order meddling of the Indian side going into the World Cup

One would feel that these 4 men will be guarding the middle-order of the Indian team during the 2019 edition of the tournament.

Last updated: 30.01.2019
Middle-order meddling of the Indian side going into the World Cup | Sports Social Blog

India has shrugged New Zealand off in the first three matches of the 5-match ODI series by taking a 3-0 unassailable lead. Before coming to New Zealand, Virat Kohli's men sealed the ODI series in Australia as well. The dominance of the Indian side starting from the top order batsmen to the quicks as well as spinners have been unbelievable and have kept the opponents at bay. With the 2019 edition of the World Cup not too far away, the Indian side looks more or less settled for the mega tournament which commences in England later in the year.

The openers in the form of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma have been rock solid and are providing India a perfect start consistently. And, if by any chance, the opponent gets rid of one of the two, they face a bigger challenge in the form of Indian skipper, the number one ranked ODI batsman Virat Kohli.

And, middle-order? Well, maybe, there lie a few questions for the Indian skipper and the team management. Who will spearhead the middle-order of the team? MS Dhoni? Ambati Rayudu? Dinesh Karthik? Kedar Jadhav? Does Shubhman Gill have a chance too after he was drafted in the side following the Hardik Pandya saga?

Ambati Rayudu - Can he be the crisis man, If needed?

Last year, ahead of the ODI series against the Windies, Indian skipper Kohli had suggested that after looking at few players at the number 4 slot, he felt that Ambati Rayudu was a perfect number 4. The 33-year-old didn't disappoint his skipper and scored 217 runs in 4 innings of the 5-match ODI series which included a ton and a half-century. Rayudu looked in command during the ongoing ODI series against New Zealand as well where he has returned with decent numbers. The only hurdle for Rayudu at number 4 could be his inability to go all-gun blazing from the word go If needed. During the 2nd ODI, Rayudu struggled to score briskly in the death overs.

MS Dhoni - Mr dependable or the finisher?

Coming into the Australian series, MS Dhoni was facing the flack from every corner of the world. Fans and a few former cricketers were questioning his spot in the team and were of the thought that it was time for the 37-year-old World Cup winning skipper to make way for explosive Rishabh Pant. However, Dhoni as always answered his critics with the willow and helped India win the series down under. He was adjourned man of the series for his match-winning performances in all the three match of the series. He continued his amazing run against New Zealand as well when he scored a 33-ball 48 when India was batting first. While he batted at number 5 in all the games, one would feel that as the former skipper found his Midas touch back, he can fit at any given position and help the side win the matches.

Dinesh Karthik - Where does the new finisher fit in after Pandya's return

Hardik Pandya is a utility player and he showed that instantly during the third ODI against New Zealand. Apart from bowling 10 economical overs, Pandya took a blinder to remove Kiwi skipper Kane Williamson. With his all-around ability, he is a confirmed player in the playing XI of the world cup and so is Dhoni, the main wicket keeper of the team. Where does Dinesh Karthik fit in then? Karthik, in the limited opportunities he has been presented, has done enough justice to seal his place in the world cup squad, but in the playing XI, he might have to wait for someone else's failure.

Kedar Jadhav - India's new finisher and the sixth bowler

Kedar Jadhav has been doing or trying to do the role of the finisher for the Indian team. In the final ODI of the 3-match series against Australia, It was Jadhav's 57-ball 61 which made sure India crossed the line. While Dhoni played a pivotal 87-run inning, Jadhav’s breezy knock helped Dhoni stick to his natural game and take the ride home. How about his bowling? Well, it's unique and effective. He rolls his arms and gets you 5-7 economical overs and probably picks a wicket a two. During his one of the interviews, he had revealed that the team has given him a job of not conceding a boundary. The Maharashtra-born Jadhav has done that exceptionally well in the opportunities he has got and one would feel that he is a sure shot fixture in the Indian playing XI for the world cup.

So, that sounds like a problem of plenty, isn't it? But if that is the case, it is always good. India, right now have 4 players who can bat at any position, starting from 4 to 6 and the Hardik Pandya cushion makes things more daunting if you're the opposition. If there are no injuries, one would feel that these 4 men will be guarding the middle-order of the Indian team during the 2019 edition of the tournament.

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