Sourav Ganguly, the former president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), has expressed his support for young left-handed batsman Tilak Verma as a potential candidate for the No. 4 position in India's squad for the 2023 World Cup if Shreyas Iyer is not fit by then. Iyer, who has been a regular in India's middle order in limited-overs cricket, is currently recovering from a lower back injury that has kept him out of action since March 2023.
Ganguly, who was speaking at an event where he was announced as the brand face of Denver, said that he was impressed by Verma's fearless and adaptable approach to the game. Verma, who is only 20 years old, made his international presence felt in the West Indies, scoring important knocks for the side. Verma has so far only played five T20Is, scoring 173 runs, and has not made his ODI debut yet.
“Tilak can be your No. 4, he is a very talented player. He does not have much experience, but that does not matter. It has to be a balance between experience and people like Ishan Kishan, and Tilak who would go out there and play fearless cricket. I see him as an option as well because he’s a left-hander. Rahul Dravid and selectors have plenty of choices. They need to identify the right players and pick the best team,” the former Indian captain said.
Ganguly also deferred the recent criticisms of the Indian team, which lost the T20I series against West India. Ganguly opined that this is a fantastic side, as he said, “I have been reading in the newspaper that we don’t have a No. 4. Who said that? We have so many players. Of course, I think differently. I think this is a fantastic side. A team that has Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Shubman Gill, and now KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer would be fit, is a great side.”
Ganguly also praised India's bowling unit, especially Jasprit Bumrah, who has recovered from his back surgery and is bowling at full pace at the NCA. He said that Bumrah's return is a big boost for India ahead of the World Cup. The World Cup 2023 will be hosted by India from October 9 to November 26.