While India are engaged in their last international assignment against Australia before the World Cup 2019, the dilemma over the selection of the fourth seamer for the squad is not yet over. Since Asia Cup 2018, India have been trying and testing a number of options like Khaleel Ahmed, Mohammed Siraj and Siddarth Kaul, but haven't zeroed in on any name so far.
As the ODI series against Australia is already going on, India have no time left to continue with the experiment for the fourth seamer. But the team management and selectors can still look at an alternative which is actually more logical - an all-rounder instead of the fourth seamer.
Here are five reasons why India should go for an all rounder instead of the fourth seamer:
#1 No reliable batting option after No. 7
India have been playing with five bowlers in recent matches, which means there is a lack of depth in the batting.
There is no doubt that India are a top three heavy side, and the formidable batting order can destroy any bowling attack on its day. But playing with a long tail and no reliable batsmen after No. 7 may cost the team a match or two, especially while chasing big totals or when the team loses wickets quickly.
A bit of batting in the tail will help the team in increasing their chances of winning.
#2 No bowling option from the top five
Gone are the days when India used to have plenty of bowling options from the top five batsmen. Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina and Virender Sehwag rolled their arms whenever required and also produced results. But things have changed with time.
Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli haven't bowled for a considerable time. Shikhar Dhawan doesn't bowl either, while Ambati Rayudu has been banned from bowling due to a suspicious bowling action.
A small change in the batting order to accommodate an extra all-rounder will actually give depth in batting and also an extra bowling option in case a bowler has an off day in the field.