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‘If Tilak Varma is Hot, Bring Him In’: Shastri Offers Solution to Middle-order Conundrum, Suggests 3 Lefties

Curated By: Aakash Biswas

Last Updated: August 16, 2023, 07:15 IST

Ravi Shastri backs Tilak Varma for World Cup

Ravi Shastri backs Tilak Varma for World Cup

Former India head coach Ravi Shastri has opined that the team must have three left-handers in the line-up including Ravindra Jadeja

The next couple of months will guarantee power-packed cricketing action with Team India in focus. The Men in Blue gear up for the Asia Cup 2023, starting August 30, where they will begin their campaign against arch-rival Pakistan. The continental championship will serve as a training ground for the subsequent 50-over World Cup and being the hosts, Rohit Sharma & Co will be expected to win the silverware and end the decade-long drought of ICC titles.

All in all, the stakes are high and the Indian team looks far from being settled at the moment. Jasprit Bumrah’s return is one of the major positives for the side as they look to constitute a formidable bowling attack. But the question looms large over the availability of Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul which makes the Indian middle-order look fragile.

Amid the selection dilemma, former India head coach Ravi Shastri has opined that the team must have three left-handers in the line-up including Ravindra Jadeja. Speaking with Star Sports, Shastri suggested carrying on Ishan Kishan who has been a part of the Indian ODI set-up for quite a long time now and if needed, the management can also get either a Tilak Varma or a Yashasvi Jaiswal.

“There are three other positions where I think two left-handers have to come in, apart from the top four you mentioned. Now this is where the selectors’ role comes in because they are watching. They know who’s the guy who’s hot. If Tilak Varma is hot, bring him in. If you think Yashasvi Jaiswal is hot, bring him in,” Ravi Shastri said on Star Sports while discussing India’s possible XI for the ODI World Cup 2023.

“So, if you have persisted with Ishan Kishan for the last 6 to 8 months and he’s going to keep wickets, he comes in, in any case. But get two left-handers. Including Jaddu, there should be three left-handers in the top seven. Ishan Kishan has been keeping it for the last 15 months. Why go somewhere else?” he added.

Speaking of Ishan Kishan, the left-hand keeper-batter would fill in for an injured Rishabh Pant and has already proved his worth with a double hundred against Bangladesh earlier this year and scored three consecutive fifty-plus scores in the recently-concluded ODI series against West Indies.

As far as Tilak Varma is concerned, he just played his maiden T20I series for India and scored 173 in five games. He is a tested batter in the shortest format but is yet to play a fifty-over game for India.

Heaping praise on Tilak, Shastri said, “Very Very impressed with Tilak Varma. And I want a left-hander. If I am looking for a left-hander, I would really look in that direction,” Ravi Shastri concluded.

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