The focus is back on One Day Internationals and with it, the much-talked-about the number 4 slot in India’s batting order is back under the scanner. Right through the World Cup, India continued to scout for options and the selectors gave Shreyas Iyer the nod to make the position his own in the West Indies series which followed the marquee tournament.
Ravi Shastri’s Opinion On Shreyas Iyer:
Ahead of the first ODI match in Chennai, Team India head coach, Ravi Shastri has told that he believes Shreyas Iyer can be the answer and that, he has the ability to make the position of his own in this format. “The way he is batting now if he does not own his position, I will be very surprised. He is just 24-25 years, but he has played so much good in first-class cricket. I think that he has known what he can do at No. 4. That is the most important thing,” Shastri was quoted as saying by India Today.
Iyer had a good series against West Indies, with back-to-back half-centuries. In 9 ODI matches so far, Iyer has scored 346 runs at an average of 49.42. He has 4 half-centuries to his name and this series could well be his golden opportunity to lay the foundation to his spot in the team.
“There is a lot of competition that is presently going on in the team, and I personally have a feeling that I compete with myself. I do not want myself to be judged with anyone or when you say this position is vacant in the team. I am really open-minded and I can bat at any number at a given point,” Iyer said at a press conference. “So I just like to back myself in tough situations, and today’s innings I think really stated that I can bat under pressure as well. So, yeah, it was really important for me as well as for our team,” he said.
He also stressed that he wanted to perform well in this spot and that he wanted to keep getting runs.
“It has been a really important last few matches for me, to set the benchmark at the No. 4 position, which all of us are competing for that at the very moment,” Iyer stated. “I think, for me personally, they are team management have given me a heads-up that, you know, ‘you will be there at No. 4, so just back yourself and really believe in yourself; we need someone who can even if Virat Kohli or Rohit Sharma when they get out, we need someone to finish the game and bat till the end”.