Team India Captain Rohit Sharma admits No. 4 slot in ODIs issue for India ahead of Asia Cup and World Cup
No batter has succeeded in settling into the crucial number four place in the Indian ODI side since Yuvraj Singh's retirement, according to skipper Rohit Sharma on Thursday, raising severe worries ahead of the World Cup.
With the 50-over World Cup less than two months away, India is still looking for a batter to fill the No. 4 slot, a problem that plagued them in the previous tournament in England in 2019.
Shreyas Iyer, who is returning from a long injury layoff, performed admirably in his 20 matches at No. 4, accumulating 805 runs at 47.35 with two centuries and five fifties.
"Look, we've had a problem with No. 4 for a long time. Nobody has arrived since Yuvi (Yuvraj Singh) and settled in.
"However, Shreyas (Iyer) has actually batted at No. 4 for a long time and he has done well — his numbers are really good," Rohit told reporters on the sidelines of a La Liga event here.
"Unfortunately, injuries have caused him some problems; he has been out for a while, and that is honestly what has happened over the last 4-5 years." "A lot of these guys have been injured, and you'll always see a new guy come in and play," he explained.
The India captain stated that the high number of injuries to key players has hampered the team in the long run.
"The percentage of injuries that have occurred in the last 4-5 years is enormous." When players are injured or unavailable, you experiment with various players — that is what I have to say about No. 4," he said.
"Even when I wasn't captain, I was watching, no?" There were a lot of guys that came and went. However, injuries kept them away, or they were unavailable, or someone lost form," Rohit explained.
With both KL Rahul - India's preferred No. 5 wicketkeeper-batter - and Iyer on the recovery path, Rohit stated that they will wait and see how these two players progress.
"No one is an automatic (selection), not even myself." Nobody is promised a spot in our organisation. "We can't say, 'You're there after all,' or anything like that," Rohit explained.
"Yes, some players know they will play, but at this point in time, playing three One-Day Internationals in the West Indies was a good opportunity to look at a few guys." "We'll face tough competition again in the Asia Cup," he remarked.
The Asia Cup is set to take place immediately before the World Cup.
"Shreyas and KL have been out for four months due to major injuries and surgeries." Both underwent surgery. I know how it feels after surgery because I had to go through it once. We'll have to wait and see how they react and what they do.
"The selection (meeting) will be in a few days, and we'll have a good discussion about what we can do." But, in reality, no one is an automatic pick; everyone must compete for the position, whether it is at the top or at the bottom.
"There are a lot of names there." "We'll see what combination works best for us to go to the World Cup, but first we have the Asia Cup," India's captain remarked.
Rohit remarked that he wants some of India's players to bat under pressure during the Asia Cup.
"We'll see; we want to win, but there are a lot of questions that need to be answered." But I'd like to see some of the guys bat under duress against great opponents in the Asia Cup," he said.
"I still want to see those things, so we'll see what happens, but it's always better to have a lot of names than just one or two." The most crucial thing is that they be fit in time.
"They (Rahul and Iyer) have been at the NCA for the last four months, working really hard, and it looks quite positive, so we will keep our fingers crossed," Rohit said.