India may use Shankar as surprise element at No. 4

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NEW DELHI, March 19: Every World Cup is known for left-field tactical moves and young Tamil Nadu all-rounder Vijay Shankar could well be the ‘joker in the pack’ if the Indian team management decides to try him at the tricky number four position in the upcoming World Cup.
If the 2003 World Cup was about Dinesh Mongia being used as a spin-bowling all-rounder at the expense of VVS Laxman, dropped from the squad altogether, the 2011 edition had Yuvraj Singh being used as a fifth bowler in every match, yielding 15 wickets.
Heading into the 2019 edition in England, India are faced with the No.4 conundrum and a clearer picture will possibly emerge after the first three weeks of the IPL. The squad will be announced between April 15 to 20.
However, it has been learnt that the Indian team management is very happy with Shankar’s technique and more importantly his temperament in pressure situations.
Shankar’s biggest competitor could be Ambati Rayudu, who, despite a healthy batting average of 47-plus, is now slipping in the pecking order.
“Let’s get one thing clear. Ambati Rayudu has not inspired the highest level of confidence as number four after his 90 at Wellington. Things can still change if he has a good IPL but there has been a growing feeling that he is uncomfortable against anything above medium pace,” a source in the know of things told PTI on Tuesday. (PTI)