There is a significant risk that India’s No. 4 problem may persist throughout the World Cup of 2023 as well. The topic didn’t seem to be resolved before or after the 2019 World Cup. Unlike last time, when the selectors changed their minds about the lineup at the last minute, injuries this time around have contributed to India’s little unease.
With fewer than two months till India’s tournament debut against Australia in Chennai, captain Rohit Sharma is aware of this problem. He finds it particularly troubling that “nobody has come and settled themselves in” for the No. 4 place since Yuvraj Singh.
At an event in Mumbai to introduce the upcoming La Liga season, Rohit stated, “Look, No. 4 has been an issue for us for a long time.” “Shreyas [Iyer] has actually batted at No. 4 for a very long time and he has done well – his numbers are pretty good.
There were a lot of males coming and going. However, illnesses prevented them from going, they were unavailable, or someone lost form. Shreyas and KL [Rahul] recently underwent operations after suffering major injuries that prevented them from playing for four months. Both underwent surgery. I am aware since I have had surgery before, and I can attest to how difficult the recovery is. We must observe their actions and reactions.
Iyer has played at No. 4 for 20 of his 38 ODI innings, scoring 805 runs at an average of 47.35, including two centuries and five half-centuries. However, he has a history of problems and hasn’t participated in any form of cricket since March of this year, when a back problem flared up and required surgery, preventing him from participating in the IPL.
He started hitting in the nets last month and is currently thought to be in the final stages of his recovery.
According to Rohit, “injuries have unfortunately caused him some trouble; he has been out for a while, and that is really what has happened in the last four to five years.” “Many of these players have sustained injuries, thus a new player is constantly entering the game.
“The number of injuries that have occurred in the last four to five years is really high. I have to remark regarding No. 4 that you attempt other things with different players when the guys go hurt or are unavailable.
In ODIs since the 2019 World Cup, India has used 11 different players at No. 4. Iyer is one of only two players in the position to have batted more than ten times; the other is Rishabh Pant. While Pant heals from many injuries, India will undoubtedly miss him, while newcomers like Suryakumar Yadav and Sanju Samson have struggled to establish themselves in ODIs.
Suryakumar recently acknowledged that his ODI statistics are “really bad,” but he said he is handling it well as he seeks to figure out the recipe for 50-over cricket success.
“He is really working hard, and he is talking to a lot of guys who have played a lot of ODI cricket as to what kind of attitude and mindset [to have] like that,” said Rohit of Suryakumar. “It’s crucial to give a hitter like him the cushion of further games so that he develops his rhythm and confidence. According to his IPL performance thus far, he did not score many runs in the first four or five games. But take a look at what he did next.
“For a guy like him, it is our responsibility to set up an environment and scenario that says, ‘It’s okay, if you don’t do well in two or three games, we are good [with it], but when you come off, we know that you will win games straight away.
“He did that in the third T20I [against the West Indies], the top batters were out, and for Surya to go and bat like that, it’s a different format. However, we must also determine how long we can maintain this (Suryakumar playing at No. 4 in ODIs).
Looking ahead to the Asia Cup, where India will play Pakistan in their opening match on September 2, Rohit mentioned the need to have “a lot of questions” answered while also wanting to win. The Indian team has not yet been announced, but the selectors will monitor Jasprit Bumrah and Prasidh Krishna’s performance in Ireland throughout the three T20 International matches beginning on August 18.
According to the current situation, a group of about 20 players would likely gather in Bengaluru for a fitness camp at the NCA before leaving for the Asia Cup. We’ll see, Rohit added. “We want to win, but there are a lot of problems that we need answers to. “But I want to watch some of the guys bat under duress against great opponents in the Asia Cup.
We shall wait and see what transpires, but it is always great to have several names rather than just one or two names. “I still want to see those things. The most crucial thing is that they be healthy in time, therefore I hope they are.