Shreyas Iyer Is India’s Best Option At No. 4 In ODI And T20 Cricket
India has struggled to find a good Number Four in both ODI and T20 cricket for the last three years. They have tried a number of players over the years such as KL Rahul, Vijay Shankar, Rishabh Pant and Manish Pandey. However, none of them have managed to deliver consistent results and make the position their own.
This was one of the main reasons why India had a poor showing at the 2019 ICC World Cup. It is also why head coach Ravi Shastri received flak for failing to find a good No.4 batsman. It looks like those worries are now a thing of the past. Young Iyer has grabbed the opportunity presented to him to bat at No.4 in ODIs and T20 formats. He has shown enough class to make that position his own for the next few games.
Shreyas Iyer Set To Have A Run At Number 4
Shreyas Iyer played a couple of good knocks against the West Indies earlier this year in the ODI format. During this series, Pant batted at Number Four and failed, while Iyer was sent in at No.5. Iyer made scores of 71 and 65 to press his case for moving up the order and taking the No.4 spot. It is highly likely that he gets a run at No.4 in ODI cricket. This is because Pant has failed to impress the selectors after multiple failures in the shorter format of the game.
During the recent T20 series against Bangladesh, Iyer had the opportunity to bat at No.4 and he made scores of 22 (13), 24* (13) and a fantastic 62 (33) balls that gave India momentum in the third T20 and helped them put up a formidable score.
What makes Iyer so impressive is the swagger and manner in which he plays. The 24-year-old is a confident young man who has a very firm head on his shoulders. He has a decent technique and all the shots in the book that enables him to play both the fast bowlers and spinners with ease.
Composure And Confidence
Iyer says he knows that there is a lot of competition to secure the No.4 spot in the team. However, he focuses more on competing with himself and improving his game, instead of looking at other batsmen and competing with them. He said he was open to batting at any number. But Iyer confirmed that the team management had told him that they were going to give him a run at the No.4 spot. They also asked him to believe in himself and take charge of the game.
He demonstrated that beautifully in all three T20 innings against Bangladesh. However, it was in the third T20 where he really showed how well he can bat under pressure. He hit three consecutive sixes off Afif Hossain in the 15th over. This gave the Indian innings the momentum it needed.
Shreyas Iyer is definitely going to be in the selectors’ plans for the upcoming T20 World Cup in 2020. However, they will need to decide once Virat Kohli returns to Number 3, whether they keep Iyer at No.4 and move KL Rahul to N0.5. Or, whether they play KL Rahul at No.4 and bat Iyer at No.5.
Potential To Be Future Captain
Shreyas Iyer has the potential to be the next Indian captain and should be groomed with that in mind. He captained the Delhi Capitals in the 2019 Indian Premier League and impressed everyone with his decision making and leadership.
The first thing the selectors need to do is give him enough opportunity to cement his place in the ODI and T20 lineups before moving him over to Test side. Once he gets a couple of years of cricket under his belt, they can think about grooming him to be the next captain of India.