Former India all-rounder Ajit Agarkar is of the opinion that the Rohit Sharma-led side has to fix batting slots in the run-up to the 2023 Men’s Cricket World Cup. He added that clarity is needed on who will bat where as the number four, five and six positions are lacking in firepower at the moment.
India will be commencing their home white-ball series against the West Indies with the first ODI at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Sunday.
India will be without the services of Shikhar Dhawan and Shreyas Iyer due to testing positive for COVID-19 and will see KL Rahul joining the team from second match onwards.
“The positions need to be cemented whichever it is or wherever they are going to bat, whether Rahul is going to come in the middle then he has to stay in the middle for me over the course of the next year and a half till we approach that world cup. So, that clarity has to be there because at the moment there are some gaps from that 4, 5 and 6 which will need some firepower in those positions,” said Agarkar on Game Plan show on Star Sports.
Speaking further on the batting positions, former India opener Aakash Chopra wants to see aggressiveness from batters at four, five and six.
“I really want India to go very aggressive and find a different way because that’s the only way either you’ll end up going 325 and if you are 85 for 3 — your 4,5 and 6 will get enough opportunities. If you just meander and get to 280 or 290 then your 4,5 and 6 will never get it.”
India’s last outing in ODIs saw them being blanked 3-0 by South Africa in January. For the upcoming series against the West Indies, Sharma is back to open the innings and kick-start his full-time stint as the white-ball skipper.
Agarkar feels Sharma’s return makes India the favourites to win the series.
“I think India are very tough to beat at home. I think with Rohit Sharma coming back a lot fresher, India will start as favourites there’s no doubt, especially in the ODI series.”
Sunday’s match against the West Indies will also be India’s 1000th match in the ODI format.