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Agarkar peplexed over Dhoni, Yuvraj's batting positions

IANS logoIANS 20-06-2017

Agarkar felt that the presence of the veteran duo in the middle order, specially at the crucial No.4 and 5 positions during the just-concluded ICC Champions Trophy where India finished runners-up to Pakistan, strained the team's playing combination.

"I am not quite sure M.S. (Dhoni) and Yuvraj can both bat at 4 and 5," Agarkar was quoted as saying by espncricinfo.

"It is not because of the final (that I am saying this); it is almost putting too much pressure on the top three to get the bulk of the runs. Maybe Yuvraj is better off batting lower down at this stage than at No. 4, where he can go and bat freely."

Questioning the logic behind picking a specialist batsman in Kedar Jadhav at No.6, the former Mumbai skipper said it was obvious because the management wasn't sure whether the No.4 and 5 could lift the side in a crisis situation.

"Four and five are pretty evident. Virat Kohli played an extra sixth batsman -- you have a (Hardik) Pandya with that kind of hitting ability, (Ravindra) Jadeja can bat, (Ravichandran) Ashwin can bat, Bhuvneshwar Kumar can bat -- you still play that sixth batsman as an insurance because you are not quite sure of your four and five," he said.

"They have been Indian greats -- M.S. and Yuvraj -- but whether they fit in at four and five long term, or looking at 2019 World Cup, is something Virat Kohli will have to answer."

"Those are such key spots that you don't want to then put your team under pressure, or top order under pressure, and then pick a batsman at No. 6 for insurance. I am glad they have picked Rishabh Pant for the West Indies (tour)," he added.

The Indian squad for the Champions Trophy, sans opener Rohit Sharma and pacer Jasprit Bumrah will travel to the West Indies for a limited overs series, starting with the first One-day International on June 23.

Sharma and Bumrah were replaced by young Rishabh Pant and left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav for the Caribbean tour, where India will play five ODIs and a T20 International.

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