Celebrated coach Dav Whatmore on Tuesday said that young talented batsman Shubman Gill can solve the No.4 issue that has been haunting the Indian team for a while now.
India crashed out of the recently concluded World Cup as an untested middle-order came a cropper, on a day the top-order failed. The men in blue, who were considered as favourites to lift the tile were eventually knocked out by New Zealand in the semifinal.
Speaking on India's performance and on the No.4 spot, Whatmore opined that India failed to solve their middle-order woes.
“The No. 4 issue kept raising its head. India should look at the future. Shubman Gill is a fantastic young batsman and he could well fill that slot. He’s got the technique," said Whatmore who was in the city to promote Sports Exotica’s Luxury Sports vacation and the launch of its Cricket Leisure League.
“India had a good tournament. It topped the group after nine matches, made runs, had a very good bowling attack, both pace and spin. But India ran into New Zealand in the semifinal, and the Kiwis made full use of helpful conditions.
"It’s just one defeat in a World Cup semifinal that can happen to any team. New Zealand did too much damage in the first 10 overs. India has got some powerful strokemakers and a potent attack. It should do very well in the coming days,” he added.
Whatmore, coach of the Kerala Ranji Trophy team, defended the Indian team management's decisions and said that injuries to key players dented India's chances of winning the title.
“The team-management made decisions which were in the best interests of the team. India was unlucky with injuries, lost some key players.
"Then you have Vijay Shankar who is a fine batsman and a useful medium pacer. Unfortunately, he got injured during the World Cup. As a coach I am always worried about cricketers picking up injuries during net sessions,” he said.
Post India's semifinal exit, there has been a lot of talk regarding M.S. Dhoni's future. But Whatmore said that the former India skipper should be left alone and that only Dhoni 'should decide' when to retire.
“You need to look at the influence he has on the team and the youngsters as a senior player, on the field, dressing room, team meetings, in the bus. Dhoni’s contribution has been enormous. He alone should decide when he leaves the international stage,” he said.