File image of Ravi Shastri, Virat Kohli(PTI)
File image of Ravi Shastri, Virat Kohli(PTI)

ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: Ravi Shastri speaks about India’s number 4, World Cup combination

Kedar Jadhav, who has become an important member of Virat Kohli’s side, picked up an injury during the just-concluded IPL, but the coach is not too worried and wants to wait before making any call.
By HT Correspondent | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAY 15, 2019 08:40 AM IST

Ahead of the ICC Cricket World Cup, team India head coach Ravi Shastri is confident about his side and believes that they have enough ammunition in the ranks to go all the way and clinch the trophy.

He also said that the side will be extremely flexible and combinations will purely be based on the conditions. Speaking about the number 4 position, which has been a topic of debates and deliberations, Shastri said that according to him, there is no one player for that particular spit and it will be a horses for courses selection. (Complete coverage of ICC Cricket World Cup 2019)

“We are a flexible team. It’s horses for courses, we have got enough ammunition. We have got enough players who can bat at 4. So, I am not really worried about that,” Shastri told Cricketnext in an interview.

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“I think we have got all bases covered. Last thing you want is passengers on the tour. You want to have in those 15 players ... who can play anytime, at any given time. If there is a major injury to a fast bowler, there will be a replacement almost straight away,” he further added.

Kedar Jadhav, who has become an important member of Virat Kohli’s side, picked up an injury during the just-concluded IPL, but the coach is not too worried and wants to wait before making any call.

“In fact I am totally blanked out from that. When the flight takes off on the 22nd, (May) we will see who are the 15 on that and just take it from there. Luckily in Kedar’s case, there is no fracture so we will wait and watch. There is still time so it should be ok,” he said.

Shastri said a team can’t pre-plan for a big event like the World Cup and the four years leading up to the tournament is the time to prepare.

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“In these big tournaments.... You go with the flow, you react spontaneously to different situations and the four years that have gone in between the World Cup, that’s what prepares teams,” he said.

The former captain handpicked West Indies and Australia to watch out for in the showpiece event. “When they (West Indies) were in India I said we might have beaten them but we had a tough series and they played some excellent cricket. And I said that at the given time, there was no (Chris) Gayle, there was no (Andre) Russell in that side,” Shastri said.

“I said watch out for this side, they have serious talent and I was very happy about that. Because you have played in the glory days of West Indies against some of the best players to have played the game and then the country has gone through some real debacles.

“The power hitting there is something that no team comes close. When it comes to the sheer ability to hit sixes, they are way up the ladder there.”

Talking about defending champions Australia he added: “You would expect that from Australia. They have won more World Cups than any other team in the last 25 years. There is never an Australian team which is not competitive.

“And now they have got all their players back and they seem to be in pretty good form but then again in the World Cup it is that given day,” Shastri said.

(With input from agencies)

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