Kumble feels Iyer should bat at no.4 as India announces ODI squad

India vs West Indies, West Indies tour of India, Shreyas Iyer, Indian bowling attack, Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Anil Kumble, Phil Simmons, ODIs
According to Kumble, since Shikar Dhawan is out of the team due to his knee injury, it again brings back the opening position to KL Rahul and considering Iyer's growth he would want the Mumbai youngster to play in the challenging spot. Photo: @BCCI/Twitter

As India announces its squad for the upcoming One-Day Internationals against West Indies starting in Chennai on Sunday (December 15), former captain and spin legend Anil Kumble feels Shreyas Iyer should bat at the crucial position of No 4.

According to Kumble, since Shikar Dhawan is out of the team due to his knee injury, it again brings back the opening position to KL Rahul and considering Iyer’s growth he would want the Mumbai youngster to play in the challenging spot.

“With Shikhar (Dhawan) not being there, it again gives KL Rahul a chance to open the batting. We have seen Shreyas Iyer’s quality and he has grown in stature, so I would like him to be at number four,” he told Star Sports.

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While giving his views on the upcoming three-match series, Kumble said that India’s bowling attack has to keep its best foot forward to face the powerful West Indies batting line-up which is dominated by hitmen.

“I’d like to see the bowling come through because against West Indies it would be a challenge. They’re all powerful hitters. The surfaces are going to be good and so, you would want the bowling to come good,” added Kumble.

Also read: Rahul, Kohli power India to T20 series victory against West Indies

The 49-year-old, who has picked up 619 wickets for India in Tests and 337 in ODI, feels that facing the Windies batsmen will be a “tough challenge” for the Indian bowlers who have failed to give their 100 percent during the recently concluded T20Is.

Though the hosts won the three-match T20I series by 2-1, their show in the departments of fielding and setting a target if put in first to bat has been a turn-off. It would be interesting to see how the Indian ODI squad will face the tourists and which problems they’ll be addressing first.

While announcing Windies ODI squad for the tour, Coach Phil Simmons said, “We have three matches in each format, so we wanted to give each squad a chance to compete against India.”

Also read: Mayank Agarwal replaces injured Dhawan in India’s ODI squad

He further compared it with their performance against Afghanistan and opined that it’ll be a challenge for the team to face India especially in the limited-overs format.

“No disrespect to Afghanistan, but facing India will be a more difficult series, especially in the ODI. Our players really the hang of thing with the 3-0 series win and I believe we will move from strength to strength,” he said.

The ongoing West Indies tour of India could be a great opportunity for the visitors to set their team for the 2020 World Cup in Australia and the 2021 tournament in India.

Simmons said, “There is a lot of preparation to be done for first for Australia, so we have given the players here a chance in this series and we know we have players outside who may be coming in later on as well, so it’s good to give those here another opportunity.”

The two teams will clash in the first ODI on Sunday (December 15) in Chennai followed by the second match in Vizag, Wednesday (December 18) and final ODI in Cuttack, Sunday (December 22) .

Squads: 

India: Virat Kohli (Captain), Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Shivam Dube, Kedar Jadhav, Mohammad Shami, Kuldeep Yadav, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ravindra Jadeja, Deepak Chahar, Yuzvendra Chahal.

West Indies: Sunil Ambris, Shai Hope, Khary Pierre, Rostan Chase, Alzarri Joseph, Kieron Pollard (Captian), Sheldon Cottrell, Brandon King, Nicholas Pooran, Shimron Hetmyer, Evin Lewis, Romario Shepherd, Jason Holder, Keemo Paul, Hayden Walsh Jr.

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