India are undoubtedly among the favorites to win the 2019 World Cup, but the team has faced a number of issues in the recent past. Let us look at the major areas of concern that they need to address if they hope to clinch the World Cup.
Problem #1: The middle muddle
Almost a dozen players have been tried at the troublesome No. 4 slot since the 2015 World Cup. They include Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni, Dinesh Karthik, Kedar Jadhav, Manish Pandey, Ajinkiya Rahane, KL Rahul and Manoj Tiwary, and once Virat Kohli himself batted at No. 4.
But none of them made a good enough case for the management to freeze the slot for the player.
The latest to join the list is Ambati Rayudu, and he fared decently fared in the opportunities he got in the West Indies series. But the problem is that he has scored all the runs in favorable conditions and against the weak bowling line-up of the Windies. In alien conditions, his technique against quality bowling would be tested.
This solution is usually typical of team management thinking: bring back the old warhorse. Yes, I believe the man who handled the role of No. 4 in the World Cup 2015 would be best suited to reprise that role in 2019.
Ajinkya Rahane is someone who struggles in home conditions but can score some valuable runs overseas. He is more technically sound than Rayudu and thus can tackle good bowling line-ups.
The other viable option other than Rahane is another warhorse, and it's none other the Captain Cool MS Dhoni.
The recent struggles of Dhoni are attributed to the fact that he is no more the finisher he once was. With the advancing of age he has lost his Midas touch in finishing games. It makes sense then that now is the time when India can use him as an ideal accumulator. Dhoni at No. 4 is not a bad option; India can find better players to do the finishing job.
Just think of Kohli and Dhoni batting together for long; it would be a nightmare for the bowlers.