As India struggles to find a right choice for No. 4 ahead of the World Cup, former captain Sourav Ganguly believes Tilak Varma could be considered as one of the contenders for the spot, even though the youngster from Hyderabad lacks experience of playing big-ticket cricket.
“Tilak can be your No. 4, he is a very talented player. He does not have much experience but that does not matter. It has to be a balance between experience and people like Ishan Kishan, Tilak who would go out there and play fearless cricket,” Ganguly said during a promotional event on Friday.
“I see him as an option as well because he’s a left-hander. Rahul Dravid and selectors have plenty of choices. They need to identify the right players and pick the best team…”
Last week, India captain Rohit Sharma admitted that the team has been missing out on a specialist No. 4 ever since the exit of Yuvraj Singh, but Ganguly does not buy that logic. “I have been reading in the newspaper that we don’t have a No. 4. Who said that? We have so many players. Of course, I think differently. I think this is a fantastic side. A team which has Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Shubman Gill, and now KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer would be fit, is a great side,” the former India captain said.
The Indian team management drew flak for the team’s dismal show in the West Indies. Questions have also been raised on the team’s preparedness ahead of the Asia Cup and the World Cup, but Ganguly does not see it as a cause of concern. “India is a country where there’s evaluation after every game. Ekdin jeeta toh achha, agla din har gaya toh kharab (First day you win, you are good. The next day you lose, you are bad),” he said with a smile.
“It’s just that they played new players in the West Indies and you will see by the time the World Cup comes and they pick the team, it will be a top side. It is about how you play in a tournament and India will always be favourites. How Rohit, Pandya and Dravid take the team on the ground will be the key,” he said, adding: “They wanted to see young left-hander Yashasvi (Jaiswal) also in the top of the order. He’s got enormous ability and he’s fearless…”
With Rishabh Pant yet to recover, Ganguly would like to see Ishan as a wicketkeeper, depending on KL Rahul’s fitness. “There’s lots of talent, you can look at Kishan. It depends on Rahul’s fitness… He will be right up in Dravid and Rohit’s mind. I like Ishan Kishan because he opens up the game for any team he plays,” the former BCCI president, said.
Ganguly is also looking forward to Jasprit Bumrah’s comeback. “I spoke to a few players recently who saw Bumrah bowling at the NCA and they told me that he’s at his best and that’s good news for India,” Ganguly said.
He added that Australia, India, Pakistan, England and New Zealand will be the teams to watch out for.
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