India's No 4 debate: Batting positions are flexible, says Sandeep Patil

The former Chairman of Selectors said every number, be it opening or No. 11, is important in the team and there are players like M.S. Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Kedar Jadhav and Vijay Shankar for the No. 4 slot.

Vijay Shankar

When the World Cup team was announced, the Chairman of the selection committee, M.S. K. Prasad had said that Vijay Shankar has been selected primarily as a No. 4 batsman.   -  AFP

Sandeep Patil did not mince words commenting on the public utterances around who should bat at No.4 for India at the ICC Cricket World Cup. 

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Four decades ago, he made useful contributions with the bat in India’s maiden global trophy triumph putting it across the West Indies at the famous Lords Cricket Ground. Subsequently he has been coach, assistant coach and chairman of selectors for the previous World Cup played in the antipodes. 

Patil believes that the game has advanced so much that there should not be any debate on batting positions. “It’s nonsense, all this debate. Batting positions are flexible. Every number, be it opening or No. 11, is important.

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"Anybody can bat, including M.S.Dhoni. Then there is Hardik Pandya, Kedar Jadhav and Vijay Shankar. Dhoni has batted at No. 4. When I was the chairman, he was always my No. 4 choice, while he said he was No. 6. I told have told him many times that he should bat No.4. Who knows what will happen. Even Virat (Kohli) can bat at 4," Patil said, who was the Chairman of selectors from 2012 to 2016. 

Earlier, when the World Cup team was announced, the Chairman of the selection committee, M.S. K. Prasad had said that Vijay Shankar has been selected primarily as a No. 4 batsman.