ICC World Cup 2019: Shikhar Dhawan says no debate surrounding No. 4 spot in squadhttps://indianexpress.com/article/sports/cricket/icc-world-cup-2019-shikhar-dhawan-says-no-debate-surrounding-no-4-spot-in-squad-5693058/

ICC World Cup 2019: Shikhar Dhawan says no debate surrounding No. 4 spot in squad

There was a lot of debate surrounding the issue but chief selector MSK Prasad, during the press conference while announcing the squad, had said that Vijay Shankar will bat at number 4 slot though the team has other options also.

India’s Shikhar Dhawan celebrates scoring a century during the fourth one day international cricket match between India and Australia in Mohali, India, Sunday, March 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

India opener Shikhar Dhawan Wednesday said that there was no debate surrounding the number 4 batting slot in the World Cup team and the skipper and the coach will decide on that. There was a lot of debate surrounding the issue but chief selector MSK Prasad, during the press conference while announcing the squad, had said that Vijay Shankar will bat at number 4 slot though the team has other options also.

Asked about the debate surrounding the crucial slot, Shikhar said, “There is no debate anymore now. There is Vijay Shankar now. Even KL Rahul is there. They are there to play for that number. Whatever the captain and coach think we will go with them.”

The dashing left-handed opener was speaking after being roped in as the brand ambassador of lubricants firm GS Caltex India at a function here. Dhawan is part of the 15-member Indian squad for the upcoming World Cup beginning on May 30.

Dhawan, who was part of the 2013 and 2017 Champions Trophy squad, said that most of the team members have played in England and that would be an advantage to the team. “In England when we played Test series over there (last year), pitches were totally different, when we go and play the ICC tournaments the pitches are going to be very different,” he said.

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“Especially in England, as Indian team, we have performed really well in ODI format and T20s. You remember Champions Trophy 2013 and 2017. In 2013 we were champions and in 17 we were the runners-up and mostly all the players are the same so that is again a good sign,” added Dhawan, who has scored 5,355 runs in 128 ODIs.

“We have got a mature and settled side and at the same time we all know the conditions very well. All the players have visited England earlier and they know what sort of wickets we are going to get and what to expect there. So, that gives a huge advantage for us and for sure we are going to explore it,” added Dhawan.

India won the 2013 Champions Trophy while the team lost to arch rivals Pakistan in the 2017 edition of the same tournament. Dhawan also sounded upbeat about the prospect of himself and his opening partner Rohit Sharma scoring in the marquee event, saying the duo have enough experience.

“Absolutely, it gives a lot of advantage because the bowlers does not get settled that easily when the opening pair is left handed and right handed,” said Dhawan when asked whether right and left combination at the top helps teams in general.

“And at the same time Rohit (Sharma) and myself have been performing very well for the past few years and we both are experienced players and we know how to do our job as openers, so we disturb the bowlers’ line and length.

“We both are attacking players and with that experience we can get into bowlers’ mind and disturb (their rhythm), which we want and which we will do,” said the flamboyant opener.