Random batting order boomeranged: Srikkanth

Published: Tuesday, May 30, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi:Tinkering with the batting order every now and then boomeranged in the West Indies and though there is no reason to press the panic button yet, Rahul Dravid should be a permanent fixture at the number three position, said former captain Krishnamachari Srikkanth.

'' You need to reshuffle when situation demands so. But beyond a point, continuous reshuffling of the batting order is not going to do you any good. Rahul Dravid was made to open the innings just because he had done well there in some of the matches. That put him under lot of pressure and the result is before all of you.

''You have the best batsman of your side at number three and Dravid is the best batsman in the team. Had I been the coach or captain of the team, I would have asked him to bat one down,'' Srikkanth told reporters.

''Besides, (Virender) Sehwag and Yuvraj (Singh) should bat at fixed slots,'' he added.

The former opener was in the capital to launch www.krishcricket.com -- a cricket entertainment site, with online and mobile downloadable gaming and sports website.

Analysing Team India's performance in the just-concluded series, which they lost to hosts West Indies 1-4, Srikkanth said it was a collective top order failure.

''The top order was expected to fire on all cylinders but instead, they fired blank. They could not pace their innings and that was a big let down. You need a good partnership up the batting order, preferable from the top three batsmen. One day cricket is a batsman-dominated affair and when your batsmen fail to shine, no one can help you.

''But no need to press the panic button yet. World Cup is seven months away and you have a world of time at your disposal to set everything in order,'' he added.

He also advised all not to put pressure on Sehwag.

''I think he has done quite well and looked impressive. Have no illusion, Sehwag will have to do well if India is to win the World Cup. I don't know why everyone is after him. Let him play his natural game,'' he said.

He also felt that the team missed Sachin Tendulkar in the Caribbean.

''I think they felt Sachin's absence. His mere presence in the dressing room lifts team morale.'' Former Test player Vinod Kambli was also against too much of tinkering with the batting order.

''I think everybody knows what is the best option for Team India today. My suggestion will be open with Sehwag and (MS) Dhoni, let Dravid come at number three, followed by Yuvraj. Now stick to this order and you would see the result,'' said the southpaw.

''People should not be asking for (coach Greg) Chappell's head only because under him, we lost a one day series. But he should learn from the mistakes and work on those grey areas,'' he added.

He also felt that Tendulkar's presence was missed in the series.

''Tendulkar is what (Brian) Lara is for West Indies. He was badly missed,'' said Kambli, a close mate of the batting maestro.

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