The Indian cricket team has long been on a quest for stability in the crucial number 4 batting position. As the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 approaches, this issue continues to baffle selectors and fans alike.
For years, India has struggled to find a reliable number 4 batter in the One Day International (ODI) format. This crucial position demands a batter who can stabilize the innings, play both anchor and aggressor roles, and provide a strong foundation for the team. Despite numerous experiments and opportunities given to various players, the quest for India’s ideal number 4 has yet to be discovered.
Rishabh Pant showed glimpses of promise as a number 4 batter in ODIs. His aggressive style and ability to adapt to different game situations raised hopes. However, Pant’s unavailability for the World Cup due to injury left a void that needed to be filled urgently.
Former India cricketer and the Player of the Tournament for ICC Cricket World Cup 2011, Yuvraj Singh, who himself had batted at number 4 for India on several occasions, has weighed in on this problem. He believes that two Indian players have the potential to resolve the long-standing issue.
Yuvraj Singh has named KL Rahul as one of his picks for the number 4 spot. KL Rahul’s record at number 4 is impressive, having played 11 innings and scored 481 runs with an average of 60.13. He boasts two half-centuries and two centuries in this position.
Rahul’s recent performances, including a century against Pakistan in the Asia Cup and consecutive fifties against Australia in the ODI series, highlight his adaptability and potential as a middle-order anchor.
The other Player recommended by Yuvraj Singh for the number 4 position is Shreyas Iyer. Iyer has played 22 innings at number 4, amassing 867 runs with an average of 45.63 and a striking rate of 95.80. His remarkable consistency and ability to accelerate when needed make him a strong contender.
Iyer has notched up five half-centuries and two centuries while batting at this position, showcasing his ability to build and finish innings effectively.
Yuvraj Singh suggests that India should avoid constant chopping and changing in this critical position. Both KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer are returning from injuries and need consistent game time to settle into the role.
“So Whoever between KL Rahul or Shreyas Iyer bats at number 4, I don’t think India should chop and change anymore because both are coming back from an injury and both need game time,” said Yuvraj Singh.
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He also advises the Rohit Sharma-led team to focus on playing the situation rather than succumbing to the weight of World Cup expectations. Keeping composure and adapting to match scenarios will be key to success in the tournament.
“Keeping up with the expectation. They should be playing the situation and not the expectation,” he added.
As India gears up for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023, they have two warm-up games against England and the Netherlands, providing an ideal opportunity to assess both KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer in the number 4 role. The team management’s decision will be crucial in finally resolving the number 4 problem that has haunted Indian cricket for years.