India vs New Zealand: Above MS Dhoni, Ajinkya Rahane, Ambati Rayudu - Stats reveal why Shreyas Iyer is India’s best No.4
India vs New Zealand: Shreyas Iyer slammed his maiden ODI hundred in the first ODI against New Zealand in Hamilton.Updated: Feb 07, 2020 19:06 IST
India middle-order batsman Shreyas Iyer has been in terrific form this year. The right-hander hammered a match-winning 44 off 35 in the 3rd ODI against Australia last month, and carried the same form in New Zealand. In the first T20I against the Kiwis, Iyer hammered an unbeaten 58 off 29 to help his side chase down the total of 204. In the 2nd T20I, he followed it up with a well-made 44, to once again help his side to a win. He carried his T20I form into the ODIs, and hammered his maiden ODI ton in the first match of the three-match series earlier this week against New Zealand.
India have faced a conundrum to designate a permanent batsman at no. 4 position in the past. The side has experimented with MS Dhoni, Rishabh Pant, Ajinkya Rahane, Ambati Rayudu and Dinesh Karthik in recent times. But Iyer seems to have consolidated his spot as India’s No. 4, and stats reveal he is the best option for Virat Kohli’s side.
As per the stats, after the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 final, Iyer has recorded the best batting average among all the players who have been tried in this position. Iyer has slammed 284 runs in 6 innings at an average of 56.80, which is more than Dinesh Karthik (52.80), MS Dhoni (45.00), Ambati Rayudu (42.18) and Ajinkya Rahane (35.00).
Since 2019, Iyer also has the 5th best batting average among all the players who have batted at least 5 innings at no.4 position in the ODIs across the world.
India will hope to shrug off the disappointment of a 4-wicket loss in the previous ODI when they take on New Zealand in the 2nd ODI of the three-match series at Eden Park in Auckland on Saturday. The 2nd ODI against New Zealand will be a must-win game for India.
After the highs of a 5-0 T20I whitewash, the Virat Kohli-led side could not bring their A-game to the table against New Zealand, who rode on a brilliant hundred by Ross Taylor and important fifties by Tom Latham and Henry Nicholls. The Men in Blue, however, should take heart from their superlative batting performance and especially the century of Shreyas Iyer, batting at No.4.