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In 2023: Team India still searching no. 4 ahead of World Cup

Between the period of 2015 to 2019 and now 2023 World Cup.

2023

Introduction

2023 Cricket world cup Cricket is a sport of strategy, precision, and performance, and every position in the batting order carries its own significance. For Team India, the enigma surrounding the No. 4 position has been a persistent concern, stirring debates and discussions among cricket enthusiasts. With the 2023 ODI World Cup on the horizon, the question of who will don the mantle at No. 4 looms large. India’s history with this conundrum has been marked by a carousel of players tried and tested, yet the dilemma persists. The return of Shreyas Iyer, a dependable and consistent performer at this position, has sparked hopes of finally quelling this debate and solidifying the Indian middle-order.

The Prevailing Conundrum

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Between the period of 2015 to 2019, Team India experimented with 12 different players at the pivotal No. 4 position. The heated debate culminated in the controversial decision of selecting Vijay Shankar over Ambati Rayudu for the 2019 ODI World Cup, a choice that divided opinions across the cricket fraternity. However, ahead of the 2023 World Cup, India’s quandary at No. 4 persists. DIfferent players have been tried in this slot, and the team is yet to find a consistent batter who can firmly lay claim to it.

The Rise of Shreyas Iyer

Amidst this uncertainty, Shreyas Iyer’s name emerges as a beacon of hope and reliability. Post the 2019 ODI World Cup, Iyer has exhibited remarkable consistency and performance in the No. 4 position. His record speaks for itself, with 20 innings yielding 805 runs at an impressive average of 47.35 and a strike rate of 94.4. In comparison, other contenders for the slot have managed an average of 27.20 and a strike rate of 90.00 over 33 innings. The disparity is glaring, underscoring Iyer’s prowess in the role.

Table 1: Iyer vs Others in ODIs post 2019 World Cup till 2023

Shreyas Iyer Others
20Inns33
805Runs843
47.35Avg.27.20
94.4SR90.00
5/250s/100s4/2
Shreyas Iyer Stats vs Others

Iyer’s Dominance Against Spin

One of the factors that places Shreyas Iyer in a league of his own is his proficiency against spinners. Since the 2019 World Cup, he boasts an exceptional average of 71.50 and a strike rate of 101.4 against spinners while batting at No. 4. This ability to counter spin effectively is of immense value, especially in subcontinent conditions where spin bowling often dictates the course of the game. As India gears up to host the World Cup, Iyer’s track record at home becomes even more reassuring. His average of 51.26 in home conditions further cements his credentials as the ideal candidate for the No. 4 position.

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Resounding Endorsements

The cricketing fraternity has spoken resoundingly in favor of Shreyas Iyer’s claim to the No. 4 spot. Notable figures from the cricketing world, including Ravichandran Ashwin, Rohit Sharma, and Dinesh Karthik, have vocally supported Iyer’s role in the team. Ashwin highlighted Iyer’s prowess against spin and his consistency as a No. 4 batter, labeling him as “extremely important” to the team. Rohit Sharma acknowledged the long-standing No. 4 issue and lauded Iyer’s impressive record in the position. Dinesh Karthik, echoing the sentiments of many, deemed Iyer as the “in-form batter at No. 4.”

The Path Ahead

Shreyas Iyer’s journey to reclaim his position in the Indian team has been marked by determination and resilience. An unfortunate back injury sidelined him, causing him to miss the entirety of the 2023 IPL season. The uncertainty surrounding his availability for the World Cup further fueled doubts. However, Iyer’s tweet expressing gratitude to those who supported him during his rehabilitation, coupled with his participation in the Asia Cup, suggests his readiness to make a compelling comeback.

Conclusion

As the cricketing world eagerly awaits the 2023 ODI World Cup hosted by India, the nation’s batting order remains under scrutiny. The No. 4 position, haunted by years of inconsistency and experimentation, presents a puzzle that Team India yearns to solve. Shreyas Iyer’s name stands at the forefront of the solution. His remarkable record, ability to combat spin, and the endorsements from cricketing stalwarts all amplify his case.

With the return of Shreyas Iyer, Indian fans hope for a definitive end to the No. 4 debate, marking a new chapter in the team’s journey towards ODI World Cup glory. The Asia Cup will serve as a crucial platform for Iyer to lay to rest any doubts surrounding his fitness and form, setting the stage for his triumphant return to the international arena.

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