India still doesn’t have answers as to who will bat at No.4

India National Team 6

With the ODI World Cup 7 months away, the Indian team is still struggling with one question.

The question is who will bat at No.4 for Team India when the marquee event comes in October. Four years ago, in 2019, India had the services of Rishabh Pant.

When Pant replaced Shikhar Dhawan in the team as the No.4, many were surprised by this move and asked Rohit the reason behind doing so.

At that point, Rohit had said,

Not really because you all guys wanted Rishabh Pant to play right? You all guys where is Rishabh Pant? Where is Rishabh Pant? There he is at No.4.

This statement was given by Rohit after India vs England game in the 2019 ODI World Cup. Then vice-captain, Sharma had quite easily deflected this question.

But, now he cannot do so as he is at the helm of things for India and will be leading them into yet another ODI World Cup and this time it’s on home turf.

Before the 2019 World Cup, India had used around 11 batters at the No.4 position. Ambati Rayudu had played the most number of games at the aforementioned position which was 15.

However, he was not selected for the ODI World Cup and Vijay Shankar was given his spot. After that KL Rahul was placed in the No.4 position but then he moved to the top after Shikhar Dhawan got injured.

Therefore, the No.4 position remained a flexible one where different batters came and went until Pant was finally drafted in.

Current scenario for India before the 2023 ODI World Cup

Now, after four years, the problem still remains the same and India hasn’t done much thinking on the issue.

Since September 2020, India has used around seven batters at the No.4 position with Shreyas Iyer playing the most number of games which is 13. Next to him is Rishabh Pant who has played nine games at this position.

However, both of these batters are now out of the equation because Iyer has injured his back and Pant is still recovering after his car accident in December.

India then tried Ishan Kishan in the ODIs against New Zealand in January this year before finally giving the spot to Suryakumar Yadav.

While SKY has made his mark in the T20Is for India in the last 12 months, the same cannot be said for the ODIs.

In the ongoing ODI series against Australia, SKY has gotten only two ducks in as many games doesn’t look good.

However, Suryakumar has been exposed to the new ball quite early on in this series after India’s top-order collapse.

And the likes of Mitchell Starc has been too much for SKY to handle in this series.

Thus, India will have to think about their team combination and top six leading upto the ODI World Cup.

With chances of Iyer and Pant making it to the ODI World Cup squad and the consistency Rahul has shown at No.5 leaves only one place open.

Additionally, Pant does have an edge with his aggressive batting.

Therefore, Yadav will have to play his very best today if he wants to retain the No.4 spot.

Looking at the current schedule then, India has six bilateral ODI series and an Asia Cup before the marquee event.

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