Ajit Agarkar perplexed over MS Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh’s batting positions | cricket | Hindustan Times
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Ajit Agarkar perplexed over MS Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh’s batting positions

Ajit Agarkar feels the presence of Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni, especially at the crucial No.4 and 5 positions during the recently concluded ICC Champions Trophy where India finished runners-up to Pakistan, strained the team’s playing combination.

cricket Updated: Jun 20, 2017 18:13 IST
IANS
Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni failed to score big in the ICC Champions Trophy final against Pakistan, which Virat Kohli’s men lost by 180 runs.
Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni failed to score big in the ICC Champions Trophy final against Pakistan, which Virat Kohli’s men lost by 180 runs. (Getty Images)

Former India pacer Ajit Agarkar on Tuesday expressed his reservations at having veteran batsman Yuvraj Singh and former India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the same playing XI as India prepare their squad for the 2019 ICC cricket World Cup, in England and Wales.

(Read | Rahul Dravid urges decisive call on MS Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh’s role in team)

Agarkar felt that the presence of the veteran duo in the middle order, especially at the crucial No.4 and 5 positions during the recently concluded ICC Champions Trophy where India finished runners-up to Pakistan, strained the team’s playing combination.

“I am not quite sure M.S. (Dhoni) and Yuvraj can both bat at 4 and 5,” Agarkar was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo

(Read | Indian bowlers disappointed when it mattered the most, says Harbhajan Singh)

“It is not because of the final (that I am saying this); it is almost putting too much pressure on the top three to get the bulk of the runs. Maybe Yuvraj is better off batting lower down at this stage than at No. 4, where he can go and bat freely.”

Questioning the logic behind picking a specialist batsman in Kedar Jadhav at No.6, the former Mumbai skipper said it was obvious because the management wasn’t sure whether the No.4 and 5 could lift the side in a crisis situation.

(Read | Top West Indies cricketers will continue international snub: Darren Sammy)

“Four and five are pretty evident. Virat Kohli played an extra sixth batsman -- you have a (Hardik) Pandya with that kind of hitting ability, (Ravindra) Jadeja can bat, (Ravichandran) Ashwin can bat, Bhuvneshwar Kumar can bat -- you still play that sixth batsman as an insurance because you are not quite sure of your four and five,” he said.

“They have been Indian greats -- M.S. and Yuvraj -- but whether they fit in at four and five long term, or looking at 2019 World Cup, is something Virat Kohli will have to answer.”

(Read | Champions Trophy final: Did Virat Kohli err by fielding first vs Pakistan?)

“Those are such key spots that you don’t want to then put your team under pressure, or top order under pressure, and then pick a batsman at No. 6 for insurance. I am glad they have picked Rishabh Pant for the West Indies (tour),” he added.

(Read | Mohammad Amir wanted to make up for his wrong doing, says brother)

The Indian squad for the Champions Trophy, sans opener Rohit Sharma and pacer Jasprit Bumrah will travel to the West Indies for a limited overs series, starting with the first One-day International on June 23.

Rohit and Bumrah were replaced by young Rishabh Pant and left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav for the Caribbean tour, where India will play five ODIs and a T20 International.