India tour of West Indies 2019: Is Shreyas Iyer the number four whom India has been searching for?

posted on 2019-08-12 19:18:07
posted by Tushar Jain

The right-handed batsman from Mumbai can play the anchor role and fire after getting set as well.

                                                                                     Pic Credit - BCCI Twitter

The number 4 conundrum has been troubling India since World Cup 2015 as none of the tried players (more than a dozen) could cement their spot at the position. A number 4 batman must have a good technique to save his team from a collapse along with the ability to score runs at a quick rate when required. Thus, batting at four is a bit tougher. Howbeit, India has failed to find a batsman who can mold himself according to the situation easily despite boasting of an excellent talent pool. Sometimes, the players didn't get a long rope, and the team has to blame themselves for the middle-order muddle. 

All said and done, the selectors and the captain wouldn’t want to repeat the same mistakes again and look to build a solid middle-order. Whilst two consecutive T20 World Cups (one in 2020 and the other in 2021) and the World Test Championship will be the main aim, India should solve the middle-order woes as early as possible. 

The 24-year-old Iyer has been knocking the door for a while and was rewarded a place in the senior team after having a good time against West Indies A. It is not about just one series, Iyer who has an average of more than 43 in List A career piled a lot of runs in the domestic circuit. While donning Blue Jersey, Iyer averages about 47 with a strike rate nearing 100 and has scored three half-centuries in just 6 ODI innings. 

Breakdown of yesterday's performance:

Shreyas didn't get an opportunity in the T20 series, but he got a chance to showcase his skills in the second ODI as the first match was called off due to rain. The skipper Virat Kohli informed that Pant would bat at 4 and Iyer at 5 during the toss. Iyer arrived at the crease when the score was 101 with three wickets down in the 23rd over. Iyer who was playing an ODI match after 18 months had enough time to build a partnership with Kohli. The young bloke along with the skipper added 125 runs for 4th wicket.

  • Playing just 10 dot balls, Iyer accumulated 26 runs in his first 25 balls with three classy fours. 
  • In the next 24 balls, he completed his fifty in the 40th over. Iyer paced his innings brilliantly as he played just 17 dot balls in his run- a- ball half-century. 
  • It was time to accelerate in the slog over in which Shreyas scored 22 runs off 19 balls. He was dismissed by Holder in the 46th over when he exposed his stumps and had his furniture disturbed.
  • Iyer was the only player to score with 100+ strike rate among all the batsman who faced at least 15 balls yesterday. 

Iyer assessed the conditions very well and always looked in good rhythm due to good form. He scored 20 runs in the third man region playing many ramp shots. He scored runs all around the ground and 41 runs behind the stumps. The youngster made the most of an opportunity as he amassed 71 runs and was the only Indian batsman apart from Kohli to score 20+ runs. 

Rishabh Pant who spoke that he loved batting at four in England played at two down in the last ODI against West Indies. The southpaw can get a long run at four while his IPL captain Iyer at 5. But, it won't be a bad idea to promote Iyer at 4 and demote Pant to 5. 

The wicketkeeper-batsman has game suited to bat in the last 10-15 overs while Iyer lacks the sixth gear required at that position. The right-handed batsman from Mumbai can play the anchor role and fire after getting set as well. 

The team management, the selectors and most importantly the captain Kohli should back Iyer. The Delhi capitals' skipper is an excellent player of spin but how he performs against quick bowlers will define his place in the team. 

Kohli who was awarded the 'Man of the Match' for scoring his 42nd ODI century also showered praise on Iyer and said:

"He (Iyer) is a very confident guy and has the right attitude. Really got the tempo going and took the pressure off me. After I got out, he got the extra runs as well."

Speaking about himself, Iyer told:

"I want to stay in the team for a while, the consistency is always important, I want to play well and contribute to the team."

Tags : #Shreyas Iyer # WI vs IND # ODI