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Gavaskar settles debate for India’s No.4 spot


For so many years, there has been a relentless debate over India’s No.4 spot in ODIs. Despite having so many batsmen in the fray, their problem to fix it on a permanent basis has been haunting like hell.

Gavaskar settles debate for India's No.4 spot
Shreyas Iyer in action

However, former skipper Sunil Gavaskar has settled the debate once and for all by adding that Shreyas Iyer is the best one suited for the number four spot in ODIs than Rishabh Pant.

According to Gavaskar, Iyer should be given a permanent slot in the Indian middle-order and he believes that Iyer is the man who can solve India’s No.4 conundrum.

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Shreyas Iyer who came into the team just after a year has chipped in with a couple of fifties in the five ODIs that he has played. He also hit a 68-ball 71 to play a significant role in India’s 59-run win over the West Indies in the second ODI at Port-of-Spain on Sunday.

“In my view, Rishabh Pant is much better like an MS Dhoni at 5 for 6 as a finisher because that’s where his natural game and natural flair will come into play,” Sunil Gavaskar told ‘Sony Ten’ channel.

“If India get to a great start with Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma batting for 40-45 overs, then Pant at No.4.

“But if it’s a question of batting for 30-35 overs, then I think it should be Shreyas Iyer at No.4 and Pant at No.5.”

Talking about Iyer’s composure at Queen’s Park Oval, he added 125 runs with skipper Virat Kohli (120) after India lost Rohit Sharma (18) and Rishabh Pant (20) in quick succession.

Iyer’s innings assisted India to post a competitive 279 for 7 against West Indies.

The 24-year-old from Delhi didn’t get much playing time during the T20 series.

He was also a part of the playing XI in the first ODI match, which was washed out after 13 overs at Guyana.

Gavaskar praised Iyer by saying: “He has grabbed his opportunity. He came at No.5. He had plenty of overs. He had the company of his skipper, Virat Kohli. Nothing quite like it because the skipper takes the pressure off you.

“The best place to learn in cricket is the non-striker’s end. That’s what Shreyas Iyer was doing with Virat Kohli at the other end,” he added.

“I think, if this doesn’t help him get a more permanent slot in the Indian middle-order, I don’t know what will,” Gavaskar said.

“In the five matches, he played before this, he scored 2 fifties and hit the highest score of 88. He hadn’t done anything wrong to be left out of the 14 (15) (World Cup). But that’s in the past.

“Now he has come back and scored a 71 in his first opportunity. So I think he will get a longer run.”

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