HomeAnalysisHas Iyer settled the debate around No. 4 batting...

Has Iyer settled the debate around No. 4 batting slot in ODIs?

- Advertisement -

He was among the many who were tried out to fill the vacant number four slot in the Indian limited overs line-up. However, the question that’s been crossing many minds is whether Shreyas Iyer, with his run of good scores at number 4, has settled the debate once and for all.

Has he done enough to make the number 4 slot his own or are the selectors still open to trialing more options in that position, going forward?

- Advertisement -

Apart from an occasional buzz around the third opener’s slot, there’s little room for debate when it comes to the Indian batting line-up in Tests.

Barring the number six slot, which could be open to a tussle between the explosive Hardik Pandya, redoubtable Ravindra Jadeja, and technically sound Hanuma Vihari, there’s simply no scope for competition for the other slots in our batting order in the longest form.

Specialist number four

However, it’s the lack of a specialist number four in limited overs cricket that had hurt India in crunch match situations. The heartbreaking semi-final loss to New Zealand in the 2019 World Cup is a case in point.

With the top three of Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and skipper Virat Kohli sent packing for cheap, all hopes rested on numbers four and five to take India past the finish line.

However, Rishabh Pant, coming in at four, and Dinesh Karthik, playing as a specialist batsman at five, couldn’t put together a partnership to see India through. 

As pundits weighed in on India’s loss, the discussion yet again veered to a specialist number four, or the lack of one, in the batting order. Many felt a more tried-and-tested option could have put the result beyond doubt for India. 

 Shreyas Iyer
Specialist Number 4: Pundits attributed the India’s World Cup exit to lack of specialist at no.4. (Credits: Twitter/ Shreyas Iyer)

Some wondered why the think-tank didn’t consider sending Dhoni at number 4, thereby giving him enough overs to repeat his 2011 heroics. A fresh debate was stoked on whether Shreyas Iyer wouldn’t have been a better pick than Karthik, as the squad already had two keepers in Dhoni and Pant.

Drawing a lesson, as it were, from our World Cup exit, the selectors brought Iyer back into the mix in the limited overs formats, giving him a longer run. 

Good feast of things

 Shreyas Iyer
A Stop-Start Career: Shreyas Iyer has had a stop-start career since making his India debut in November 2017. (Credits: Twitter/ Shreyas Iyer)

Shreyas Iyer’s stop-start career since making his India debut in November 2017 hasn’t helped his bid to hold down the number 4 slot in limited overs cricket.

While he had been in and out of the side since getting his big break, the Mumbai batsman wasn’t considered for the World Cup squad as the selectors felt he wasn’t in good form going into the tournament.

However, Iyer, even by the tall standards of our selection committee, has made a good feast of things since his second coming in the Indian limited overs line-ups. Since the 2019 World Cup, Iyer has been constant at number 4 in eight ODI innings, aggregating 398 runs at an average of 56.85. His run comprised a century, his first in this format, as well as four fifties.

In 22 T20Is that he has featured in, so far, Iyer has scored 417 runs at an average of 50.99. His highest score in this format, a modest 62 by his standards, came against Bangladesh.

 Shreyas Iyer
Good feast of things: Since 2019 World Cup, Shreyas Iyer has scored 398 runs at an average of 56.85 in 8 innings. (Credits: Twitter/ Shreyas Iyer)

Speaking during a recent Instagram session with Delhi Capitals, the team he leads in the IPL, Iyer said he hoped there won’t be any more debates around the number four slot in limited overs cricket.

“There should be no more questions asked about India’s number four batting slot. If someone has played in that position for a year then (it’s safe to say)he has secured that spot. I feel good to have secured the number 4 position. One needs to be flexible and I feel I can bat at any position, depending on the (match) situation,”  

the former Mumbai captain said

While Iyer, for now, seems to have settled the debate around the number 4 slot in limited-overs cricket, who knows where a run of poor form will leave him? One hopes the think-tank is sold on Iyer’s talent and will persist with him.

Follow us on facebook for more sports news & updates

- Advertisement -

15 Highly Educated Cricketers Of All Time

Cricket is a game of passion and dedication. A sport in which one involves themselves in camps and practice since early childhood. Due to...

Do we often under-appreciate Andy Flower? What’s his legacy?

There's a hint of sadness in noting that Zimbabwe has never been a dominant power in world cricket. But nothing could be sadder than...

Why are more and more MotoGP riders using the Noson nasal dilator?

Introduction MotoGP riders or athletes are physically fit and healthy individuals and their muscles are continuously functioning and used during the performance. As a fan...

How Come UFC Fighters Have Cauliflower Ears But Boxers Don’t?

The UFC has come a long way since its early days, wherein the fights seemed like modern-day gladiators due to its brutality and inconsistent...

5 spinners who can be India’s potential finger-spinners

The Indian cricket team has always been proud of its ability to produce world-class batsmen and similarly potent spinners. Though in recent times, the...

IPL 2018: The beautiful Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur

Being seated in the Sawai Mansingh stadium brings a different world, a world of difference away from the palpable excitement of watching truly India’s...

Top 5 Left Wingers In The World, Based On 2019-20 Season

Owing to the fact that football has evolved a lot since its inception and the tactics have changed a lot, the role of wingers...

The astonishing decline of Mario Balotelli

There was a time when Mario Balotelli was on top of the world.  The Italian talisman had scored two goals in the Euro 2012 semi-finals,...

What can be expected from the 2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix?

Heat in the air and heat inside the car- that's been the story of the Azerbaijan Grand prix. As F1 parks itself at Baku...

How Suresh Raina Batted India Into The Finals of 2011 World Cup

Its been 9 years, since India won the Cricket World Cup defeating Sri Lanka on 2 April, 2011. The images and visuals of...

IPL 2018: The best from the West Indies

When one of nature's treacherous attacks on mankind- earthquakes- strike, their impact is measured on Richter's scale. When West Indians strike in a tournament...

Ajax XI if they didn’t sell their star players

Based in Amsterdam, AFC Ajax, who incidentally draw their name from the legendary Greek hero of the same name, are the most successful club...

Age Fraud in Indian Cricket: Are players really to be blamed?

There have been times while watching a cricket match when we tend to hear commentators comment on cricketers’ age. We as fans have many...

Big change for India Women’s cricket as BCCI looks to finalise bowling coach soon

We are not even at the halfway stage of the 2018 cricketing season. It clearly seems there's no stopping India's women's cricket team. The...

5 famous players to play for both Leeds United and Liverpool

Leeds United are back in the Premier League after 16 years and will play Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday in their very first match...

- Advertisement -

- Advertisement -