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‘There are two positions in the top seven…’: Ravi Shastri calls for three left-handers in India’s ODI middle-order

Left-handed batters are a valuable asset to any cricket team. They pose a unique challenge to bowlers, and their presence in the batting lineup can disrupt the opposition’s plans.

With a keen focus on the Indian batting line-up and the importance of southpaws, former India head coach Ravi Shastri spoke about how India can have two more left-handed batters alongside all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja.

According to Shastri, three left-hand batters in the top seven will bolster India’s middle-order.

“There are two positions in the top seven where I feel two left-handers have to come in,” he said while speaking exclusively on Star Sports Selection Day show.

Praising youngsters Tilak Varma and Yashasvi Jaiswal and highlighting the role of selectors, he said, “This is where a selector’s role comes in because they are watching, they know who is the guy who is hot. If Tilak Varma is hot, bring him in. If Jaiswal is hot, bring him in. But bring two in at the top, so if you are persistent with Ishan Kishan for the last 6-8 months and he’s going to keep wickets, then he comes in, in any case. But getting two left-handers in that top seven, including Jaddu, there should be three in that top seven.”

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He also spoke about where Ishan Kishan will feature in the batting line-up for the Asia Cup 2023 and the impact Shikhar Dhawan had on the squad, and how the team missed the veteran in the 2019 World Cup campaign.

Recalling India’s run four years ago, he said, “I was coach at that time, and I keep saying that people don’t give the credit that Shikhar Dhawan deserves.”

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“I mean, that guy was an amazing player. You mention the World Cup in 2019 where we lost that semifinal, when we had a brilliant World Cup, he was the missing man there. You know, that made such a big difference – a left-hander at the top of the order, as opposed to three right-handers with the ball swinging away, which allowed teams to get a grip of where to bowl and bowl consistently,” he concluded.

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