India’s win in the second warm-up game against Bangladesh brought several positive aspects to the team before the mega tournament, one of which is KL Rahul’s century that helped the team get a spectacular victory just before the World Cup. His performance may have just grounded his position at No. 4.
Since last World Cup India had tried 12 batsmen for the No. 4 position in the team. Where, the top contenders were Vijay Shankar, Ambati Rayudu and Dinesh Karthik. Many had prefered Rayudu for the vacancy as his experience and consistent performance won the Indian team many games, however in the last ODI series against Australia and the recently concluded IPL, things turned for the worse for him as his batting saw a steep decline in performance. During this time KL Rahul had paced up and showed great improvement in his game right before the Team India was announced. Although Virat Kohli had clarified that the IPL performance would not influence the team Selection but Rayudu failed to find a place in the team whereas Rahul and Vijay both were included.
Last year captain Virat Kohli said after the Asia Cup, “Apart from bowlers resting here or there in one-day cricket, we only changed the No. 4 slot because we wanted somebody to cement it. We believe that Rayudu is the right person to capitalize because he’s experienced and he has won many games for his state and in IPL cricket. He has a great one-day record already for India, so I think the batting order is sorted as far as we’re concerned.”
Till date there had been many speculations regarding the No.4 spot as Vijay Shankar and KL Rahul both had not produced what was expected. But, Rahul’s 108 runs in the last warm-up fixture against Bangladesh gave him a boost in the competition and it was enough to cement him to the most talked about spot.