Yuvraj Singh
File photo of Yuvraj Singh

India have lost to New Zealand in the first semi-final of ICC World Cup at Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester. After the loss, the team management’s approach has come under the scanner, especially regarding the batting order. India were struggling at 5-3 but they didn’t let MS Dhoni come to bat who is known to handle the pressure situation pretty well. Moreover, India’s number 4 slot is still a mystery. They tried many batsmen for the last couple of years but no one got perfectly fit for that place. However, Former India player Yuvraj Singh thought the team management should back someone for the place.

Yuvraj Singh, one of the arguably best batsmen of India, used to bat at the position earlier and helped India win two ICC events – in 2007 and 2011. However, he thought that the Indian team management didn’t do well for the important spot.

“The team management should have groomed someone. If someone was failing at No. 4, the team management should have told that player that he was going to play the World Cup. Like in 2003 World Cup, we were playing New Zealand before the tournament, everybody was failing. But the same team played in the World Cup,” Yuvraj Singh told TOI.

Yuvraj Singh was the ‘Man of the Series’ in the 2011 World Cup. He was surprised over Ambati Rayudu’s exclusion who was India first choice for the crucial No.4 spot a couple of months earlier. However, after a couple of bad innings led him out of the squad, although he was one of the standbys for the World Cup.

“It was disappointing to watch what they did with Rayudu. He was in the contention for the World Cup. He got runs in New Zealand but after three or four bad innings, he got dropped,” Yuvraj added. “And then Rishabh (Pant) came in and he got dropped. If No. 4 is a crucial position in ODI cricket, if you want someone to do well in that position, you will have to back him. You can’t drop someone if he is unable to do well all the time, he told.

“In between, the team had also tried Dinesh Karthik. Finally, we don’t know what their plan was for No. 4. They backed Rishabh again, he actually did well. If Rohit and Virat would get out early, we could get into trouble and everyone knew about that. We needed a solid No. 4. I didn’t understand the idea behind their plans,” Yuvraj Singh further said.

“I also feel quite sad about Rayudu that he retired. It is unfortunate how they dealt with the whole situation. You are looking to go and play the World Cup and suddenly you don’t find a place,” he concluded.