Shastri names India’s No.4 for future ODIs
India’s No.4 enigma has long been the talking point for the last couple of years both inside and outside the Indian dressing room. The performance has been ebb and flow with the middle-order as it had no tonic of consistency and hence the team struggled to cope with the pressure against the big teams.
It was one of the few zones that the Kapil Dev-led Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) was not happy with before re-appointing Ravi Shastri as the chief coach of the Indian cricket team for next two years. However, Ravi Shastri is determined to sort out the long-lasting woe only to make India a super team.
Now Ravi Shastri has given good news to all the Indian cricket fans. He said that he has finally identified India’s No.4 in ODIs.
Speaking exclusively to Times of India, Ravi Shastri said Shreyas Iyer is the ideal man for the spot and added that he will continue to bat at No. 4 in ODIs for India.
“One of the areas we concentrated on over the last two years was to blood as many youngsters as possible. Shreyas Iyer, for instance, he is going to stay at No. 4,” said Shastri.
Though Shreyas Iyer did not willingly bat at No.4 in the just-concluded three-match ODI series against West Indies. He had earlier said that he would bat at any given position for India and wants to be versatile in his approach.
He justified his selection right when he scored 71 and 65 in the second and third ODIs against West Indies in unfamiliar climes and was quite productive batting at No.5, the first match was washed out due to rain.
Meanwhile, Rishabh Pant who was considered as India’s preferred No.4, he failed to make use of the chances.
Shreyas Iyer had earned high praise from Indian skipper Virat Kohli for his match-winning knock in the third thrid ODI at Port of Spain.
“He understood the value of performing in these situations. The way he (Shreyas Iyer) batted out there, he took a lot of pressure off me. His knock was the game-changer. We want to have people take responsibility at different batting positions. But he certainly presented a strong case for himself. He completely played in full control and was putting pressure on the bowlers,” Kohli had said after the match.
The head coach also went to suggest that experimentation will be carried out with more young prospects in the Indian limited-overs sides in the coming days. “Bench strength is everything if we’re looking at things from a long-term perspective.
That constant flow of fresh, young talent has to be there. Be it Rishabh or Jasprit Bumrah, Kuldeep, Hardik, Mayank, Shankar – they’re there, constantly raising their hands up. That kind of a pool does wonders when the only objective is to ensure you don’t end up with, let’s say, any kind of deadwood,” Shastri said.