India spinner Harbhajan Singh feels Lokesh Rahul should be handed the mantle to bat at the crucial number four position at the upcoming ICC World Cup 2019 in England and Wales.

The Indian team management has given their vote of confidence to all-rounder Vijay Shankar but Harbhajan believes that Rahul is better suited for the important batting position.

Bhajji also pointed out that Jadhav’s injury meant India will have to look for another candidate for the number 6 slot if the spinning all-rounder fails to recover in time.

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“I don’t see anyone except for KL Rahul fitting into that No. 4 slot. So that’s a bit of a worry and also No 6 slot where Kedar Jadhav will play. I hope that Jadhav gets fully fit before the South Africa game (June 5) as it is a very important slot,” Harbhajan was quoted as saying by PTI.

Harbhajan also lauded fast-bowler Jasprit Bumrah who recently put on a great show in the Indian Premier League (IPL) final and fired Mumbai Indians to their fourth title. The 2011 World Cup winning spinner opined that Bumrah will be the other game changer for India in UK apart from talismanic skipper Virat Kohli.

“Sachin Tendulkar called him world’s best fast bowler at the moment. Indeed he is, for the impact he has created. If you take Bumrah out of that India line-up, it’s like you rip a heart out of the body. He is that precious. He is your Virat Kohli of Indian bowling,” said Harbhajan.

Harbhajan’s four semi-finalists are India, Australia, England and New Zealand.

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Asked why no West Indies or Pakistan, the veteran off-spinner opined, “I am not saying they can’t but New Zealand is a team that does well in big events. Best part of that set up is their boys do the basics well on a consistent basis. That makes a huge difference in a big event,” he concluded.

((With agency inputs))

First Published:
May 18, 2019 10:58 IST

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