India vs New Zealand, ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: Players who might bat at the crucial number four slot

India take on New Zealand at Trent Bridge, Nottingham on Thursday. Shikhar Dhawan is expected to miss this crucial encounter. It would mean that KL Rahul would open the batting and the number four slot is up for grabs.
India vs New Zealand, ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: Players who might bat at the crucial number four slot India vs New Zealand, ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: Players who might bat at the crucial number four slot
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Shikhar Dhawan was hit by a nasty bouncer from Australia's Pat Cummins in the second game of India's World Cup campaign. He batted through the innings and made 117 runs which helped India beat Australia for the first time in a league match of a World Cup tournament. He, however, did not come out to field in the second innings. Later, scans revealed that he has a fracture and could be out of action for upto three weeks. The Indian think tank wasted no time and has called upon Rishabh Pant to be part of the side as early as possible. So, Rishabh Pant could take up a place in the middle order and KL Rahul might be asked to open the batting. India have a wide range of options to pick the number four batsmen for the upcoming games with the likes of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Hardik Pandya and Dinesh Kathik having fared well in the opportunities presented to them in the past.

Here we have a look at the batsmen and their performances at the all important number four slot:

1. Mahendra Singh Dhoni:

A player for crunch situtations, Mahendra Singh Dhoni has bailed out India from precarious situations in the past. He might be entrusted with the duty of stabilizing the Indian middle order at number four if KL Rahul opens the batting. He has played 29 innings at number four scoring 1325 runs at an average of 57.60 including 12 fifties and one hundred.

2. Dinesh Karthik:

Dinesh Karthik is another player who has played several match winning knocks for Team India in the shortest format of the game. He has the ability to absorb pressure and can be flexible with his approach. He has played 18 innings at number four scoring 426 runs at an average of 38.72 including 3 fifties. He might be called upon to replace Shikhar Dhawan and take up the crucial slot in the batting order.

3. Hardik Pandya:

A street smart cricketer that he is, Hardik Pandya recently smashed the Australian bowlers to all corners of the ground during his knock of 48. He is in sublime form at the moment and might be given a go ahead in the batting order to play some quick cameos. He too has fared decently well at number four. He has played 6 innings at that position and has scored 198 runs at a strike rate of 117.85. With his ability to take on the spinners, he might be a force to reckon with and can turn the match on its head in double quick time.

4. Vijay Shankar:

The soft spoken all rounder from Chennai was picked up ahead of Ambati Rayudu in the World Cup squad considering the fact that he can add value to the side in all three aspects of the game. He has showcased his immense potential in the limited opportunities he has got with the Indian team. He might get a go as he can relieve the burden of other bowlers by pitching in few overs with the ball from time to time.

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