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  5. Rohit Sharma opens up on India's long-standing bone of contention in ODIs

Rohit Sharma opens up on India's long-standing bone of contention in ODIs

India skipper Rohit Sharma has shared his thoughts on India's long-standing issue of the No. four batting slot in ODI cricket. India are sweating over Shreyas Iyer's injury, who had almost made the slot his own in ODI cricket before getting injured.

Written By: India TV Sports Desk New Delhi Updated on: August 11, 2023 8:26 IST
Rohit Sharma
Image Source : GETTY IMAGES Rohit Sharma

With the ODI World Cup less than two months away, many of the participating nations have already finalised their playing combinations for the event and have stopped auditioning individuals to give the ones shortlisted an extended run before the tournament gets underway on October 5.

For the hosts India, there is a long-standing issue that continues to haunt them in ODI cricket and might go on to hurt them in the upcoming marquee tournament. Since the retirement of Yuvraj Singh, India have struggled to identify a number four batter for them in ODI cricket.

Several players have auditioned for the same but none of them have entirely made the position their own by their outstanding outings while playing both at home and away. Opening up on the same, the India skipper admitted that the spot persists to be an issue for the team management in ODIs but mentioned that Shreyas Iyer has done reasonably well at that position in the recent past.

"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 batted at No. 4 and he has done well — his numbers are really good," Rohit told the media reporters on the sidelines of a La Liga event.

"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 added.

Iyer's numbers in the ODI circuit while batting at the number four position make for a good reading. The right-handed Iyer has batted in 20 games for India at the number four slot and aggregated 805 runs at a reasonably good average of 47.35. His runs in those outings have come at a strike rate of 94.37, including two centuries and five fifties.

Rohit believes that India have been hit by plenty of injuries in the past few years to a wide range of players and it is something that has had an adverse impact on the team in terms of striking a balance.

"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.

"Even before, when I was not the captain, I was watching no? There were so many guys who came in and went out. But injuries kept them away or they were not available or someone lost form," Rohit mentioned.

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