Ajit Agarkar selects his World Cup XI with a new number four

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Ajit Agarkar
Agarkar has selected his XI for India.

 

Agarkar has selected his XI for India.

Former Indian pacer and a cricketer-turned-analyst, Ajit Agarkar has selected India’s playing XI for the upcoming Cricket World Cup 2019, that kicks off on the 30th of May. And there is a big surprise on his team. Agarkar has snubbed the under-performing number four of the team, Ambati Rayudu for Vijay Shankar.

Ambati Rayudu is under fire for underperforming in the ODI series against Australia. He was poor with the bat and was dropped eventually from the team for the last couple of matches. This axing of Rayudu from the squad is a clear message to him that he is yet to cement his spot in the setup. Rayudu scored 13, 18 and 2 in the first three matches only to hand over his position to Virat Kohli and Rishabh Pant in the fourth and fifth One-day respectively.

Whereas, Vijay Shankar has been consistently impressing the team management and the Indian team’s fans alike with his performances since his debut, earlier this year. Some fine cameos with the bat in testing conditions of New Zealand had already made his case strong, on which he successfully added his all-round skills showcased against the Aussies. And according to Ajit Agarkar, Shankar might pip Rayudu for that middle order slot of number four, going into the World Cup.

Vijay Shankar has been performing well consistently

“I have a little surprise with No.4. It is Vijay Shankar. He has shown glimpses of what he can do at the top of the order. Rayudu has been batting there for a while, but in my opinion, Shankar has a more all-round game to fit in that position. Plus, he gives Virat Kohli an option of few overs if needed,” Agarkar told ESPNCricinfo.

In another major change in the XI, Agarkar prefers Shami over Bhuvneshwar Kumar to take the field alongside Bumrah as the second pacer. This decision came on the basis of the current form.

“At this point in time, Shami’s form and the way he is bowling at different stages of the innings be it with the new ball or the old ball, middle of the innings or end of the innings, he seems to be bowling better than Bhuvneshwar Kumar,” the former Indian pacer justified.

Agarkar’s playing XI:

Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Vijay Shankar, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah.