Sunil Gavaskar names Ajinkya Rahane as the solution for India's No 4 problem

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Sunil Gavaskar names Ajinkya Rahane as the solution for India's No 4 problem

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SportsCafe Desk

10/03/2017

Sunil Gavaskar has suggested giving the No.4 spot to Virat Kohli and replacing him with Ajinkya Rahane at No. 3, leaving Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma free to open. Following Rahane's brilliant display against Australia, Gavaskar thinks shuffling the positions will help India accommodate him.

The selection of the middle order for the upcoming ODI series against New Zealand, scheduled to start from October 22, has distressed the Indian team management along with captain Virat Kohli and chief coach Ravi Shastri. Shikhar Dhawan has just replaced Ajinkya Rahane for the upcoming T20 series against Australia, which starts on Saturday and might as well feature in the ODI series against New Zealand. This will lead to India having three players for the opening slot, Ajinkya Rahane, Shikhar Dhawan, and Rohit Sharma.

Despite the stunning performance put forth by Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane against Australia, the Rohit-Shikhar partnership retains huge support owing to their marvelous success in the Australia series. Dhawan was excused from the team for the first three ODIs of recently concluded series to attend his unwell wife and has now returned

India are likely to stick with Dhawan as the opener alongside Rohit Sharma in the New Zealand series and former India captain Sunil Gavaskar has given a solution for accommodating Rahane as a non-opener. Gavaskar feels that if required, Kohli should bat at No.4 and let Rahane play in his No. 3 position.

Speaking to NDTV, Gavaskar said, "Probably, it will be Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma as openers for India, a good right and left-hand combination. Shikhar has proven himself at the one-day level. My feeling is, because India have struggled for a number four batsman that it will probably be Ajinkya Rahane going in at number four or maybe three, and the skipper coming down at number 4. That is what is going to be the likely batting order against New Zealand." 

If the team management decides to drop Rahane from the playing XI in the ODI format, it would be quite unfair to him, after scoring four half-centuries against Australia. India have tried several batsmen at the number four spot and in-form Rahane might just turn out to be the missing piece to the jigsaw puzzle of the middle order. However, the future will tell whether Kohli would want to swap positions as number three has worked wonders for him so far.

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