With KL Rahul coming at 3 and Virat Kohli at 4 working well in T20Is, Sourav Ganguly felt that India’s middle order problems have been sorted and the team should stick to it in ODI series as well. He pointed out that England bowlers lack firepower and India would fancy their chances against them.
Ganguly has advised Kohli to bat at the crucial number four position to provide solidity to India's batting line-up in the three-match ODI series against England, which is scheduled to start on Thursday. Since the tour of Sri Lanka in July-August 2017, India have tried as many as six different batsmen - KL Rahul, Kedar Jadhav, Manish Pandya, Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik and Ajinkya Rahane - at the number four position but Ganguly has been of the opinion that Kohli was the best bet for the crucial slot.
"If you look at this T20I series, I think they have formed the proper batting line-up. With Rahul at number
"I think that's what Kohli is going to do (in the upcoming series) as well," the former skipper opined.
Ganguly was of the opinion that England
"England are a good side. They are a very good batting unit but bowling is the weaker part of their game. The way India won (easily) in Bristol when chasing 200 (in a T20 game), they will fancy their chances against this English bowling line-up in the ODI series," he said.
Asked about India's strengths ahead of what should be another keenly contested series between both the sides, Ganguly stated, "At the moment, India are a very good and well-rounded limited-overs' side. A lot of good Indian sides have been tested in England and some of the better ones have done well here and won before. I think this Indian team can be like that, they can definitely win here this summer, definitely the ODIs and possibly the Tests too."
Ganguly's comments should come as a boost to India, who have started their preparations for the 2019 ODI World Cup in England. While the team has looked complete in most areas concerning batting and bowling, there has been a gaping hole in the middle order despite the experience of MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina and the new-found brilliance of Hardik Pandya. The former captain was also mighty impressed with wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav's showing on this UK trip so far.
"Conditions in England can vary vastly from wicket to wicket and so every game is a different challenge. You need wicket-taking spinners on these English wickets even as they change from game to game. Kuldeep is already in the Test squad when playing at home, but he should be in the first-eleven for all formats for the Indian team," Ganguly signed off.