Mumbai (Maharashtra): India captain Rohit Sharma on Thursday voiced that no batter has settled into the crucial number four position in the batting order of the Indian ODI side since Yuvraj Singh’s retirement and it is raising severe worries ahead of the World Cup.
With the 50-over World Cup less than two months away, India are still looking for a batter to fill the No. 4 position in the batting order, a problem that plagued them in the previous tournament in England in 2019. Rohit will be leading the Men in Blue in the highly-anticipated ICC Men’s ODI World Cup that will be held from October 5 to November 19 in India.
“Look, No. 4 has been an issue for us for a long time. After Yuvi (Yuvraj Singh), nobody has come and settled themselves in. But, for a long period of time, Shreyas (Iyer) has actually batted at No. 4 and he has done well — his numbers are really good,” Rohit told reporters on the sidelines of a La Liga event in Mumbai.
The Asia Cup will kick off on August 30, with arch-rivals India and Pakistan set to lock horns in Kandy, Sri Lanka, on September 2. The tournament will follow a hybrid model, with four matches to be hosted by Pakistan and all of India’s matches and a total of nine fixtures taking place in the Emerald Isle.
“Unfortunately, injuries have given him a bit of trouble; he has been out for a while and that is honestly what has happened in the last 4-5 years. A lot of these guys have got injured and you will always see a new guy coming and playing there,” he said.
India skipper stated that a string of injuries to critical players at key positions has hindered the team in the long run.
“The percentage of injuries that have happened in the last 4-5 years, it is massive. When the players get injured or are not available, you try doing different things with different players — that is what I have to say about No. 4,” said the India captain.
Rohit stated that India will wait and see how these two players -KL Rahul – India’s preferred No. 5 wicketkeeper-batter and Iyer- progress.
“No one is an automatic (selection), even I am not. We have this thing where nobody is guaranteed a spot. We cannot say that ‘you are thereafter all’ or things like that,” Rohit said.
“Yes, some players know that they are going to play but at this point in time, playing three ODIs in the West Indies was a good opportunity to look at a few guys. In the Asia Cup, again, we will face good opposition,” he said.
“The selection (meeting) will be there in a few days, we will have a good debate about what we can do. But honestly, nobody is an automatic choice – they all have to fight for the spot – everyone has to, whether it is a top spot or a bottom spot.
“We have got a lot of names there. We will see what is the right combination for us to go in the World Cup but before that we have the Asia Cup,” the India captain said. (ANI)