India suffered an unexpected ouster from the semifinals of the ICC World Cup 2019 losing to New Zealand by 18 runs in Manchester. Chasing 240 runs set by New Zealand, the Men in Blues have managed to score 221 runs after a poor show from the top-order. India head coach Ravi Shastri repented of not having a reliable batsman in the middle order after their shocking exit.

We needed a strong middle-order batsman: Shastri

Meanwhile, India’s middle-order woes is something which is not new. They have tried various options in the middle order, but nobody has managed to settle the berth. The likes of Ambati Rayudu and Dinesh Karthik got the most opportunity, but nobody showed the consistency to make the spot his own. Virat Kohli & Co started the campaign with KL Rahul at four who looked good and settled all the debates. But Shikhar Dhawan’s injury put the combination in jeopardy as the management had to promote Rahul at the top and slot Vijay Shankar in the middle, but he failed to offer stability before ruling out due to injury.

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KL Rahul. Credit: Getty Images

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The constant changing and chopping unsettled the combination which has hurt India badly. Ravi Shastri admitted they needed a reliable middle-order batsman which has hurt them badly in the World Cup. Shastri also stated that this spot had given them problems in the past and the management need to sort it out as early as possible.

“In hindsight, yes, we did need a solid batsman out there in the middle order. But now, that’s something for the future. That’s a position that was always giving us problems, but we just couldn’t nail it. (KL) Rahul was there but then Shikhar Dhawan got injured. Then Vijay Shankar was there, and he got injured. We just couldn’t control it,” Shastri said to the Indian Express.

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