Over the last 12 to 15 months, the Indian middle-order faced concerns, the team was heavily reliant on the top order and the never-ending musical chair around the number 4 position refused to cease. There were problems when the squad was announced, there were problems with the choices made and these very problems came back to bite the team hard in their loss to New Zealand in the semi-final clash.
After the loss, Yuvraj Singh, whose presence bolstered the middle order during India's triumph in 2011, has hit out at the selectors and the management for not sorting out this issue properly.
"The team management should have groomed someone. If someone was failing at No. 4, the team management should have told that player that he was going to play the World Cup. Like in 2003 World Cup, we were playing New Zealand before the tournament, everybody was failing. But the same team played in the World Cup," Yuvraj told TOI.
'Disappointing to watch what they did with Rayudu'
There was an extended rope handed to Ambati Rayudu with the hope that he can nail down the number 4 spot, but the batsman was left out after he failed in the home series against Australia just before the World Cup. This call left Yuvraj bemused and he said that he was surprised over this treatment meted out after failure in just a single series.
"It was disappointing to watch what they did with Rayudu. He was in the contention for the World Cup. He got runs in New Zealand but after three or four bad innings, he got dropped," Yuvraj said.
He also spoke about Rishabh Pant and the importance of backing a player and giving him confidence by not dropping the axe after a single failure.
"And then Rishabh (Pant) came in and he got dropped. If No. 4 is a crucial position in ODI cricket, if you want someone to do well in that position, you will have to back him. You can't drop someone if he is unable to do well all the time," Yuvraj added.
It needs to be mentioned here that the BCCI has taken note of the selection muddle and as per reports, there will be questions asked of Ravi Shastri, Sanjay Bangar and Virat Kohli about not being able to find a solution to a problem which has been tagging along with the Indian team for a while now.
"In between, the team had also tried Dinesh Karthik. Finally, we don't know what their plan was for No. 4. They backed Rishabh again, he actually did well. If Rohit and Virat would get out early, we could get into trouble and everyone knew about that. We needed a solid No. 4. I didn't understand the idea behind their plans," Yuvraj further added.