India entered this series against Australia with a fairly good idea about their World Cup plans. However, there were a number of spots up for grabs and captain Virat Kohli hoped that he could be closer to answers before the series ended.
The position of the secondary wicket-keeper was one of the major talking points – the selectors dropped Dinesh Karthik and included Rishabh Pant in the squad. However, it was not a good outing for Pant in Mohali or Delhi and this prompted debates over his position in the side.
Former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir believes India should include KL Rahul in the squad as the secondary wicket-keeper for the World Cup.
"Personally, I would include KL Rahul in my squad as the secondary wicket-keeper as he is a good batsman too," Gambhir told before the 5th ODI.
'Would not tinker with Kohli's position'
Also, the number 4 spot has forever been under the scanner. Captain Kohli dropped himself to that spot to accommodate Rahul at number 3, but Gambhir is not convinced. "I would never drop Kohli to number 4, he has got all the runs at number 3 and the best batsman of the side should bat at number 3," Gambhir added.
On the issue of the number 4 spot, Gambhir has backed Ambati Rayudu to get the job done. After a good tour of Australia and New Zealand, Rayudu encountered a slump against Australia and was subsequently dropped, but Gambhir believes the right-hander should walk out at number 4 in England.
Vijay Shankar, who has been impressive in the limited opportunities he has got so far, got the nod from Gambhir to be included in the squad.
"He can be viewed as the batsman who can chip in with the ball. If the conditions are overcast and there is a green tinge on the surface, Shankar can replace Kedar Jadhav in the playing XI as the bowling option too," Gambhir said.
Former Indian cricket Irfan Pathan too backed this suggestion and said that he would never tinker with Kohli's position and would back Rayudu to get the job done at number 4.
"The good thing about this Indian top-three is we can separate them, if conditions and situations demand. Someone like Virat Kohli can go to number four, and we can put a good number three to bring more balance to the batting line-up," Shastri said during the New Zealand tour.