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Ravi Shastri Highlights The Need For Left-Handed Batsmen In India’s World Cup Squad
By CricShots - Jun 27, 2023 12:21 pm
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With the highly anticipated 2023 ODI World Cup just over three months away, the Indian cricket team, led by Rohit Sharma, has limited opportunities left to fine-tune their preparations. Former head coach Ravi Shastri recently raised a crucial concern about India’s batting order, drawing comparisons to the successful 2011 World Cup squad. In an interview with The Week, Shastri addressed the question of whether the opening pair of Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill is confirmed for the World Cup.

Yuvraj Singh
Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina

While many might assume so, especially after Gill’s impressive performances in the 2023 season, including a double century in ODIs, Shastri expressed that the final decisions would be made closer to the tournament. Ravi Shastri emphasized the absence of left-handed batsmen in India’s squad, highlighting a missing link in the team’s batting order. Although Rishabh Pant had been a left-handed option, his unfortunate car accident in December ruled him out of contention for the World Cup.

Ravi Shastri stressed the need for at least two left-handed batsmen in the top six, citing the 2011 squad as an example, which featured Yuvraj Singh, Gautam Gambhir, and Suresh Raina.

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Challenging the incumbent management, Ravi Shastri said, “No, that is going to be a challenge. You will have to see closer to the event. Form again becomes important. You need to strike the right balance. Do you think a left-hander will make a difference at the top? It does not have to be opening, but in the top three or four. You have to weigh all those options. Ideally, in the top six, I would like to see two left-handers.”

Ravi Shastri
Ravi Shastri

He further emphasized the historical success of teams with left-handed contributions, mentioning past World Cups where left-handers played crucial roles. From the 1974 West Indies team featuring Alvin Kallicharran, Roy Fredericks, and Clive Lloyd to Australia’s strong presence of left-handers like Allan Border in 1987, Sri Lanka’s Sanath Jayasuriya and Arjuna Ranatunga in 1996, and more recently, the likes of Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden for Australia, the mix and balance of left-handed batsmen have proven to be effective.

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Ravi Shastri’s remarks underscore the importance of including left-handed batsmen in India’s World Cup squad, both for their strategic advantage and to maintain the historical trend of successful teams. As the tournament draws closer, the team management will need to carefully consider their options and strike the right balance in the batting order to maximize India’s chances of lifting the coveted trophy.