The No.4 conundrum has been haunting the Men in Blue for a while now. The team management's efforts to fill in the spot with a variety of players have been futile till now. During the ICC World Cup 2019, KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant, Vijay Shankar and Dinesh Karthik were tried out in the position but none of them were able to cement their spot in the side.
Former India cricketer Yuvraj Singh has said that the team management should have taken care of the issue. He also pointed it the No.4 dilemma as the ‘major reason’ behind India not winning the mega-event.
"You have to identify what is the best talent available and then you have to back that talent. For e.g. me and Mohammad Kaif during the 2003 World Cup. Everybody was failing badly in New Zealand but almost the same team played in the 2003 World Cup. Cut to the 2019 WC team: I was dropped, then Manish Pandey came in, then after 1-2 more players KL (Rahul) was also tried, (Suresh) Raina came back and then they went with Rayudu who played for 8-9 months and scored a 90 in NZ," told the all-rounder to Aaj Tak.
“Before the WC, we lost to Australia and Rayudu had a bad tournament and suddenly Vijay Shankar came in. The selectors should have understood the importance of the No. 4 position, especially in England. Vijay Shankar and Rishabh Pant didn’t have that experience. Dinesh Karthik was an experienced guy but was sitting out and suddenly goes to bat in the semis. So I really didn’t understand the thinking. I think that was the main reason why India didn’t win the WC. I thought India and England were the best teams and there is no reason that India shouldn’t have played the final,” added Yuvraj.
Chasing a modest target of 240 runs in the semi-final of the tournament, Virat Kohli and Co were toppled by the Kiwi bowling attack led by Matt Henry. The right-arm pacer scalped three wickets on the reserve day to annihilate India's top order.
India lost Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, and Dinesh Karthik for just 24 runs inside 10 overs before Ravindra Jadeja (77) and Dhoni (50) shared a 116-run seventh-wicket stand to raise India's hope of entering the final. However, it wasn’t enough in the end as India fell short by 18 runs.