As Team India continue their dominant performance against Australia in the ongoing One-Day International (ODI) series, spin legend Harbhajan Singh has weighed in on the selection dilemma plaguing the Indian middle-order for the upcoming ODI World Cup 2023.

India currently lead the 3-match ODI series 2-0 after impressive victories in the first two fixtures. This series not only marks India’s dominance but also serves as crucial preparation for the highly anticipated ODI World Cup 2023.

The middle-order conundrum

While India’s top-order and bowling lineup appear settled, the middle-order has posed a selection challenge, with four players – Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan –  vying for two spots at No. 4 and No. 5. Iyer’s recent struggle with a back injury raised questions about his World Cup inclusion. But in a stunning display of talent and resilience, Iyer silenced his critics by smashing a century during the Indore ODI, putting to rest any doubts about his form and fitness.

During the same match, Suryakumar continued his impressing form, and hit his second consecutive fifty to score an attacking 72 of just 37 deliveries. He has struggled in the 50-over format but his comeback in ODIs has been noteworthy. Rahul, another contender for the middle-order spot, has also been in sublime form, adding yet another half-century to his tally in the Indore ODI. Many experts reckon that Rahul will surely play as he is the first-choice wicket-keeper. Similarly, Kishan has also kept him in discussions for the World Cup squad especially after his fighting knock (82) against Pakistan in the Asia Cup 2023.

Also READ: Ravichandran Ashwin reveals his revolutionary bowling variation ahead of ODI World Cup 2023

Harbhajan Singh names Suryakumar as the Ace of Spades

Meanwhile, Harbahajan, on his YouTube channel, unequivocally backed Suryakumar for a pivotal role in the ODI World Cup. He referred to the Pune-born cricket star as a ‘sure-shot match-winner’ and labeled him the ‘ace of spades’ in the Indian team.

Further, Bhajji emphasized the need for a finisher in the batting order, and believed Suryakumar is the ideal candidate to fulfill that role at No. 5. He insisted, “Surykaumar Yadav has to play all the matches. I don’t care whom he replaces, but his name should be taken first and then the rest.”

“You have a player who is a pure match winner and can single-handedly make the game one-sided. He is the ace of spades. We have have been taking about a finisher…he is the one. He has to play at No. 5 for India,” the 43-year-old added.

Also READ: Irfan Pathan predicts the top 4 semifinalists of the ODI World Cup 2023

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