Number-4 batsman’s knot not solved even in four years, how will he win the ICC World Cup like this?
India has got the hosting of the ICC World Cup 2023 and all the teams are gearing up for this mega event to be held in October-November. There seems to be a problem for India, it is there since four years.
Whenever the ICC World Cup 2019 is mentioned, two things definitely sting every Indian cricket fan, firstly, Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s runout against New Zealand in the semi-finals and secondly, the lack of specialist batsmen batting at number-4. When the Indian team was selected for the 2019 World Cup, Ambati Rayudu did not find a place in it, who was India’s number-4 prepared batsman till some time before that. In his place, the Indian selectors had selected all-rounder Vijay Shankar as a 3-dimensional player. Ambati Rayudu’s 3-D tweet was also very much discussed. Well, this is a thing of the past, now we come to the present era. The conundrum of preparing the options for number-4 batsmen since the 2019 World Cup is still the same. Shreyas Iyer has played this role well, but his injury has increased the difficulties of Team India.
How will the puzzle of number-4 be solved?
The role of number-4 batsman becomes very important in One Day International cricket, in such a situation, the backup of the players playing at this position should always be ready. Before the ICC World Cup 2023, Team India now has only a few ODIs left, but the question of who will bat at number-4 is visible everywhere. Let’s take a look at which batsmen Team India has given a chance at number-4 in ODIs and who scored how many runs since the semi-finals of the ICC World Cup 2019.
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Shreyas Iyer got the most opportunities in this batting order and scored 805 runs in 20 innings at an average of 47.35 and a strike rate of 94.37. But now in the World Cup year, his injury has definitely increased the lines of worry on the forehead of captain Rohit Sharma and head coach Rahul Dravid.
Pant raised hopes, but the accident increased the tension
After this, Rishabh Pant was tried at this number in 11 innings. Pant scored 360 runs at an average of 36 and a strike rate of over 100. Pant had an accident at the end of the year 2022, after which he is going to be out of the field for a long time. After this, KL Rahul was sent at number-4 in three innings and during this he scored 189 runs at an average of 63 and a strike rate of 89.15. Rahul was also not given many matches at this position.
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Ishan-SKY also proved to be a letdown
Ishan Kishan was given six innings at this position and during this he scored just 106 runs at a modest average of 21.20. Manish Pandey was sent for three innings while Suryakumar Yadav was sent for batting at number-4 in six innings, both of them disappointed. Whereas Virat Kohli and Washington Sundar have also batted at number-4 once each.
Question mark on Shreyas’s availability
Shreyas Iyer recently missed the three-match ODI series against Australia due to injury. Iyer has been advised to undergo surgery for this injury, but he does not want to undergo surgery at the moment, as it will keep him away from the cricket field for a long time and his dream of playing the World Cup will be shattered. Now Shreyas has decided not to undergo surgery, but it has to be seen whether his injury becomes more serious.