Former India captain Sourav Ganguly feels KL Rahul and Ajinkya Rahane should be given more matches in the middle order for Team India, who are already preparing for World Cup 2019.
India's middle order conundrum has been exposed more than once in the last few months, with the Men in Blue not able to find a consistent performer with the bat. India have tried regular middle order players like Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik among others, but they have not been consistent, bringing into question – who should bat for India in the middle order?
India have a brilliant top-three in the form of Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli, who has currently taken a brief break. They have finishers such as Hardik Pandya and MS Dhoni, but the middle order looks a bit loose.
With World Cup 2019 only a year away, the elephant in the dressing room has to be addressed. Ganguly wants Rahane and Rahul to be given as many as '25-30 matches' ahead of the World Cup.
"If you are looking at the World Cup 2019, I would want the selectors and team management to back Rahane and Rahul. They have proved themselves in the past and I think they will make the middle-order more productive," Hindustan Times quoted Ganguly as saying.
"I want the selectors to allow Rahane and Rahul 25-30 ODI games leading up to the World Cup. They will get used to those positions."
Rahane and Rahul are regular openers, but with Rohit and Shikhar occupying that spot, they have had to bat in the middle order.
Rahane has been used as number four batsmen in the past, scoring 703 runs from 20 innings, which looks decent. However, Rahul has not got much chances to play for India in the middle order, playing one innings each in the fourth and fifth position, scoring 24 runs only.
The selectors have ignored Rahul for the ongoing ODI series against Sri Lanka and Rahane was snubbed in the playing XI for the first match in Dharamasala.