ICC World Cup 2019: Kevin Pietersen Not Happy With Vijay Shankar’s Batting at No 4
The Indian National Cricket team selectors on April 15 (Monday) announced their 15-member squad for the ICC World Cup. The panel headed by MSK Prasad preferred young Vijay Shankar over the experienced Ambati Rayudu. The inclusion of Vijay has caught many by surprise, and they have expressed their displeasure on various platforms. Former England cricketer Kevin Pietersen is the latest to echo the same voice.
MSK Prasad while naming the squad said that they had nothing against Ambati Rayudu. However, it was Vijay Shankar’s three-dimensional ability that got him the ticket to England. Prasad also revealed that the Tamil Nadu will start the tournament as the no four batsman and will see to it as the tournament progress. Meanwhile, over the last two years, the management has tried various options in that position, but none could cement the berth. Eventually, it was Vijay Shankar who bagged the spot following his good show in New Zealand.
Have seen better batsmen at no 4: Pietersen
Soon after the selection, former India cricketer Gautam Gambhir voiced his opinion on leaving out Ambati Rayudu. Later on, BCCI roped him along with Rishabh Pant, Ishant Sharma, Navdeep Saini, and Axar Patel as the standbys for the quadrennial tournament. Kevin Pietersen, who is currently to cover the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) seemed not convinced with the squad selection. He said that Vijay Shankar had done very less to warrant that spot in conditions like England.
Pietersen also stated that Shankar along with Kedar Jadhav got a place only because of their ability to bowl. India have picked just three specialists fast bowler, and Hardik Pandya and Shankar will don the role of the fourth and the fifth pacer.
“I haven’t seen enough of Vijay Shankar to warrant a No. 4 slot for India in the World Cup. I have seen some great players bat at No. 4 for India and sadly, Shankar seems far away from it. Batting at No. 4 is difficult and even more so in English conditions. It is almost like Shankar and Jadhav have made it to the India squad because they can bowl,” Pietersen said.
The men in blues will begin their ICC World Cup campaign against South Africa on June 5 at the Rose Bowl Cricket Ground in Southampton.
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