"He is ace of spades, has to play all matches" - Harbhajan Singh gives his verdict on India's middle-order conundrum
Team India secured a remarkable victory in the rain-affected 2nd ODI in Indore against Australia, beating the Pat Cummins-less side by 99 runs (DLS method). However, beyond the victory, the focal point of the game became the selection dilemma it presented to the team management with only 10 days remaining before India's World Cup campaign begins at home.
While the top-order and bowling line-up are established, the conundrum lies in the middle-order, where four players vie for two positions - No. 4 and 5. Shreyas Iyer's recent struggle with a back injury raised doubts about his suitability for the World Cup, particularly after he suffered a spasm during the Asia Cup shortly after returning from a lengthy injury hiatus. Nevertheless, the star batter dispelled all uncertainties with a magnificent century against Australia in the 2nd ODI.
In the same match, Suryakumar Yadav, who has long grappled with translating his T20 batting prowess into the 50-over format finally appeared to have found his rhythm. He notched up his second consecutive fifty on his way to a career-best score.
Harbhajan Singh opined the India star can turn games single-handedly
Additionally, there is Ishan Kishan, who has been a subject of discussion since his impressive 82 in the rain-interrupted Pakistan match during the Asia Cup and KL Rahul has also been in sublime form after adding another fifty to his tally for India in Indore.
Echoing on the same lines, former India spinner Harbhajan Singh opined, "Surykaumar Yadav has to play all the matches. I don't care whom he replaces, but his name should be taken first and then the rest. You have a player who is a pure match winner and can single-handedly make the game one-sided. He is the ace of spades. We have have been taking about a finisher...he is the one. He has to play at No. 5 for India."